Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘current events’

prayer invite

Sunday’s horrifying attack was the worst mass shooting in America’s history and it is the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.

Pray for the injured in this tragedy and the families of all the victims who lost their lives. Ask God to comfort those who mourn the loss of family and friends.

May Christian men and women rise up to support each other in this time of tragedy. Help us to remember that you are the strong tower we seek when times are tough. Guide our hands and feet to respond in a Christ-like manner.

Read Full Post »

weddingRingsBible

There is an ever growing list of people who want nothing to do with marriage.  You can now add Lindsey Vonn to the list.  Vonn recently announced she has no plans to walk down the aisle again.

Vonn, the 2010 gold medal Olympian and girl friend to Tiger Woods, shared, “I’m done with that.  The box is checked.  I don’t really believe that you need to be married to someone to be their life partner.”

Her attitude on marriage is increasingly common.  Many couples prefer to live together or in a word cohabit, instead of getting married.  I’ve heard the arguments for the practice.  Folks want to save money, spend more time with the person they love, or test the compatibility of their relationship without all the messy legal problems if it should fail.

Some view the practice as a strong commitment while dating.  Others see it as a prelude to marriage.  But contemporary opinions now view cohabitation as a substitute for conventional marriage.

While attitudes and opinions support cohabitation, the facts do not.  In a piece entitled “The Downside of Cohabitating Before Marriage,” psychologist Meg Jay of the University of Virginia describes what is known as the “cohabitation effect”: “Couples who cohabit before marriage . . . tend to be less satisfied with their marriages-and more likely to divorce-than couples who do not.”  67% of cohabiting couples divorce compared to 45% of all first marriages.  Additional studies show that women who cohabit are more likely to be abused and to be depressed than women in a marriage.  And if that wasn’t enough bad news, researchers also found that couples who cohabit are more likely to cheat on one another.

This entire notion that you can test drive marriage hurts people and creates unnecessary heartache.  The biblical warnings against cohabitation are affirmed by statistics and the burgeoning trail of wounded people.  Couples often try cohabitation because they have not seen a successful marriage up close.

Pastors can help to reverse the trend by requiring premarital counseling before couples tie the knot.  Churches can also make a difference by mentoring engaged couples.  This is a great way to teach the biblical examples of marriage and build strong relationships.  When couples receive mentoring by their church, 76% stay together, 19% break up before marrying, and only 5% divorce or separate.

We can no longer accept a laissez faire approach to marriage in our community. God has designed the covenant of marriage and we need to continue teaching a biblical approach for couples.  They also deserve quality mentoring from pastors and church leaders who are willing to help the next generation.  May God raise up quality couples who are willing to mentor others and increase successful marriages throughout our community.

Read Full Post »

PX

Congress and the administration continue to seek answers in fighting military rape and sexual assaults.  As part of the sexual assault reduction effort, service chiefs instructed commanders to remove offensive and degrading material from military offices and workplaces.  This written policy required units to remove pornographic and offensive material like, “books, pictures, photographs, calendars, posters, magazines, videos . . . .”

While this is a good reminder on maintaining an appropriate work area and promotes equality, it seems highly contradictory to continue selling pornography on military installations when it is not allowed in other public areas.

Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Exchanges continue to sell inappropriate magazines which treat woman as little more than objects for sexual pleasure. Please keep in mind that this smut is located in aisles where service members, spouses, families, and kids walk past every day.  While a placard may be present to hide the magazine cover, pornography continues to be sold on US military installations across the globe.

It is high time for this practice to stop.

If the military is truly concerned about this fight, then let us attack the attitude that allows sexual exploitation in the first place!  Let us create a better environment where people can truly be seen and respected as equals.  If pornography cannot be allowed in the workplace, why is it allowed in every government-sponsored store on post?

While pornography is not the sole cause of sexual assaults in the military, it is degrading the environment for women in the force and polluting a military climate built on respect, service, and integrity.

Many will call me outdated, old-fashioned, pre-historic, a Bible thumper, a religious zealot, or worse.  I have big shoulders if folks disagree, but pornography is part of the problem with our military culture.  We also deserve consistent policies guiding its removal.  If Big Army is listening, it is time to remove pornography from the PX.

Read Full Post »

Military news outlets confirmed that the officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force effort to curb sexual assaults and harassment was arrested over the weekend.

A Lieutenant Colonel was arrested on Sunday and charged with sexual battery after he allegedly grabbed a woman by the breasts and buttocks.   An Arlington County Police spokesman said the woman fended off the attacker, who was under the influence of alcohol, and when he attempted to grab her a second time she was able to call the police, who arrived a short time later and detained him.

The attacker was initially held on a $5,000 unsecured bond.  He has since posted bond and been released from the Arlington County Detention Facility.

The Air Force said that the Lieutenant Colonel, had been removed from his job as chief of the service’s sexual assault prevention and response branch after his arrest.

Stories like this need to be shared in military circles.  It is an odd and ironic story because of the person’s duty assignment, but there are some common themes that need to be highlighted.

1.  The military has a zero tolerance policy on sexual assault and harassment.  You will be punished for violating this policy.  It may cost you your paycheck, your current assignment, your job, your military career, or your freedom as you sit in a jail cell.

2.  Alcohol use is reported in a majority of sexual assault causes.  If you drink, be responsible.  Do not allow excess to impair your judgment or behavior.  If you are serving alcohol, recognize when a person has had enough.

3.   You have the right to physically defend yourself.   Let us applaud the victim for defending / protecting herself, immediately calling the police, and standing up for her rights as an individual.

4.  Make time to file a report.  Too many service members fail to report incidents like this.  Know that you can always file an unrestricted report in a military setting.  This will limit who knows the incident took place, but allows you to receive care and counseling.

If you have questions, want to know your options, want to talk with a counselor, or need to report a sexual assault in the military, call 877-995-5247 or click www.safehelpline.org.  The DoD Safe Help Line is a 24/7 resource for all service branches.

Read Full Post »

Reports are sharing that an American Stratotanker crashed in Kyrgyzstan.  The Wichita Eagle reported on its website the plane was a KC-135 refueling tanker, which was based at Wichita’s McConnell Air Force Base.

A search is underway for members of the crew.

Little is currently known and updates will likely be slow.  Right now the unknown is a heavy burden for military families across the Midwest as they are dealing with the “what ifs” of this situation.

One thing that we can do is pray for all the families at McConnell Air Force Base.  May the peace of Christ sustain them and minister to their needs during this difficult time.

Read Full Post »

The tragic events of April 15th continue to unfold.  Today, two bombs exploded in the packed streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing two people and injuring more than 130.

Please continue to pray for the families who are mourning the loss of a loved one.  Boston area hospitals also reported at least 134 injured, with 15 of them critically.  We also need to pray for the wounded who are in critical condition.

While not immediately apparent, we should also praise God that more were not injured in this senseless act.  The Boston Marathon routinely has some 23,000 runners and countless supporters along the way.  It is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathons that draws participants from across the globe.  It is held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.

As people continue to compile their prayer lists, we should also remember first responders like the EMS, police, firefighters, and National Guard.  Their efforts today, though bloody and traumatic, helped to preserve life and provide emergency care to the wounded.

Cry out to the Lord and share the concerns of your heart, no matter how heavy it may be.

Read Full Post »

Bible

Hollywood can say what it wants, but The Bible is the top-rated cable program on Sunday nights.

The History Channel’s mini-series The Bible drew an impressive 14.1 million viewers on its first night.  Horizon media, meanwhile, said some 50 million viewers tuned in to at least some portion of the program over the first three weekends of the five part series.

The show is an outright success.  The latest installment pulled in 11 million viewers and audience retention rates are just as remarkable. To put the numbers into perspective, the premier had better ratings than The Walking Dead and every episode beat Fox’s American Idol.  If the ratings don’t impress you, they certainly confound Hollywood’s entertainment experts.

This Judeo-Christian-themed show reveals an appetite for religious programming that is consistently overlooked in Hollywood.  Did they forget that The Passion of the Christ made over $600 million to become the highest grossing R rated film in history?  Did they also miss The Chronicles of Narnia, Courageous, and Fireproof?

Some critics claim that the calendar is artificially inflating interest around the series.  I don’t see how this argument holds water.  Sure the mini-series airs during Lent and will end on Easter Sunday, but that does not speak to the desire for clean stories and religious programming every day of the year.  The content is drawing the audience, not the calendar.  Content is what drew people to the show and developed a loyal following.

The series is truly unique in that the creators wanted to honor the integrity and accuracy of Scripture.  Nancy Dubuc, president of the History Channel, told MovieGuide.com that a group of theologians and scholars were regularly consulted on the accuracy of the project. “This is probably the most important book in mankind, regardless of your beliefs or religious affiliation,” Dubuc says. “We spend a lot of time talking about this book, and probably not enough time knowing what’s in it.”

Again, that is the entire point.  People are curious about the Old Testament, the New Testament, and how the Bible impacts us.  While Hollywood has not cracked the code, people want to connect with the story of God.

Thanks to the History Channel and The Bible leadership team, people are watching the series, having conversations about the text, and finding out what the story of God holds for them.  That is the ultimate success no matter how the ratings turn out next week.

Read Full Post »

Bible Series

If you have seen the ads, there will soon be something worth watching on television.

The History Channel will present, “The Bible” as a five-week mini-series.  The premier is March 3, 2013 from Emmy Award winning husband and wife team, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.  The final episode of the series will air on Easter Sunday and will feature the death and resurrection of Jesus.

This television series is a great and simple way for people to explore the message of God.  While the Bible is one the best-selling books of all time, many have not read the text.  The mini-series will give Christians, spiritual seekers, and curious souls an opportunity to discover the Holy Bible in a new and exciting way.  Hopefully, it will serve as a reason for folks to open the text, connect with Christ, and continue their discovery of God’s plan for humanity.

Below are a couple of reviews for the series.  Feel free to share the news and catch the show.

“To help insure the accuracy of the miniseries, many Christian scholars served as advisors and hundreds of Christian leaders have given their endorsement.” – Outreach Magazine

“It is also a project close to Mr. Burnett’s heart. In the past couple of years the 52-year-old former paratrooper says he has become deeply religious, a transition he credits to Roma Downey, his wife since 2007. ‘It wasn’t until I met Roma that I truly understood my faith and it’s been a dynamic shift for me,’ Mr. Burnett said.” – Wall Street Journal

“Famed television producer Mark Burnett tackles his projects with passion, but The Bible is a special labor of love.  The 10-hour, five-part docudrama, which premieres March 3 on the History Channel, will span the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, presenting some of its best- known stories, including Noah’s Ark, the Exodus, Daniel in the lions’ den and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

‘In terms of importance, nothing we’ve ever done, not Touched By an Angel, not Survivor, not The Voice, not The Apprentice, none of this could possibly compare to The Bible,’ Burnett says. ‘To us, as a family, we love the Bible.
This is not a TV show to us. It’s images and sound and sacred text that people will still watch, way after our grandchildren are old people.’

Since the entire Bible can’t be covered in 10 hours, the miniseries, which was filmed in Morocco, focuses on a select group of stories and features such compelling figures as Abraham, Moses and David. Some stories had to be compressed for artistic purposes. ‘In the end, what we’ve done is a meta-narrative, a grand narrative of emotionally connected stories. We know we’re not qualified to teach the Bible. We’re qualified to be good television producers and storytellers. By telling these emotionally connected, big stories, hopefully millions of people will reopen their Bibles,’ Burnett says. Downey came up with the idea for the miniseries a few years ago. ‘It is our obligation to tell the stories as written,’ he says. ‘The stories are so brilliant and compelling.’ The project will have broad appeal, he says. ‘If you know the Bible, you’ll enjoy seeing the stories come to life. If you’ve never read the Bible, I think you’ll love the stories,’ he says.  ‘There’s a reason the Bible is the most widely read book in the world.'”USA Today

Read Full Post »

hero

Where are the heroes?

The sports community took some big hits this week and last.  It has disappointed many in America and across the world.

Last week the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that no candidates received enough votes for entry into Cooperstown.  This year’s ballot included 37 candidates, 24 in the lineup were first time nominees.  Several of these athletes were tied to performance-enhancing drugs, greatly diminishing their chances of ever entering the Hall of Fame.  This class includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, all of whom posted Hall of Fame-worthy numbers during their careers but were clouded by PED suspicion. Clemens earned 37.6 percent of the vote, Bonds got 36.2 percent and Sosa got 12.5 percent.

Recently, Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong admitted to using PEDs.  Last year, he lost all seven of his Tour titles due to a 1,000 page report from the US Anti-Doping Agency.  The massive report exposed his extensive drug use and multiple methods of trying to circumvent sports cycling rules.  The agency deposed 11 former teammates and accused Armstrong of masterminding a complex and brazen drug program that included steroids, blood boosters, and a range of other performance-enhancers.

While athletes and sports stars are frequently viewed as heroes, these events should remind us what heroism truly looks like.  A hero is a person of distinguished courage, bravery, ability, and noble qualities.  The heroes have not left our nation, we just forget what they look like and how they behave.

Courage is shown through the service of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines everyday.  They demonstrate the meaning of sacrifice through their actions and dedicated service.  Bravery is shown through the actions of police officers in every community.  They run into buildings that crowds exit when trouble rears its ugly head.  Ability is shown by countless firemen.  They react to emergencies and execute teamwork in order to save lives and property.  Honesty, integrity, generosity, and kindness can be seen through the daily actions of mothers and fathers across our nation.

Our country is full of heroes, we just fail to recognize who they truly are.

As this week will focus on stars from Hollywood and the sports page.  Teach your children to recognize a hero.  Let them know what qualities are important in life.  Show them that common folks in your community can be some of the greatest examples of doing the right thing.

Read Full Post »

trafficking

Human trafficking is the third largest crime in the world.  It is also one of the fastest growing crimes across the globe.  Trafficking consists of kidnapping, slavery, child abuse, prostitution and is a problem right here in America.

Child sex trafficking is a terrible type of abuse that no one should ever encounter.  The average age at which a girl enters prostitution in this country is fourteen and in some states it is as low as twelve.  The stories of survivors are depressing and horrific.

January 11-13 has been designated as the weekend of prayer to end slavery and trafficking.  This is the second annual national prayer initiative where people can join together and pray for the end of this terrible injustice.  Make time to lift up the victims, survivors, traffickers, and customers who are creating the demand for this crime.

Please mark your calendars, mobilize your prayer warriors, and devote time to this worthy prayer initiative.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: