Nun Fight!

A convent in southern Italy is being shut down after a quarrel among its last three remaining nuns ended in blows, press reports said Sunday.

Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista, reportedly upset about their mother superior’s authoritarian ways, scratched her in the face and threw her to the ground at Santa Clara convent near Bari in an incident in July that was kept quiet until now.

Ah yes, and these are those who have been set apart for spiritual service. Mother Theresa admits she has no faith and now this. Warms the heart, no?

Jedi Knights And Jesus

I was reading an article about guys who meet to be Jedi knights and practice sword fighting with custom made light sabers.

On Tuesdays, Master Flynn and his Jedi posse squeeze into a few corner tables in this busy café before heading to lightsaber training at a dance studio down the street. Sessions can be grueling, starting with meditation and yoga poses before moving on to choreographed swordplay.

They spend their lives being Jedi Knights, which results in the following statement,

“The nerd element of being a Jedi is pretty obvious,” Cyran Oghma says. “We’re all huge nerds. But it’s more than that, more than Star Wars. If you base yourself on a character who has high personal ethics and a high level of skill and confidence, there is no way that’s not going to influence who you really are.”

What amazes me is that a bunch of nerds can endeavor to be a fictional character and mold their lives after it and actually become their ideal and yet Christians have the hardest time believing they’re supposed to be like Christ. We even have a real Force within us to pull it off.

Are we really serious about being followers of Christ? If fake Jedis can do it, what are we waiting for?

Rudy Giuliani And Jesus

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani was questioned over the scrutiny he has undergone over his three marriages and having a mistress in his previous marriage, etc. His defense was more or less–Jesus wouldn’t judge him so shut up.

“I’m guided very, very often about, ‘Don’t judge others, lest you be judged,'” Giuliani told CBN interviewer David Brody. “I’m guided a lot by the story of the woman that was going to be stoned, and Jesus put the stones down and said, ‘He that hasn’t sinned, cast the first stone,’ and everybody disappeared.

“It seems like nowadays in America, we have people that think they could’ve passed that test,” he said. “And I don’t think anybody could’ve passed that test but Jesus.”

Here’s the deal though Rudy, after the stones were put down Jesus said to the woman “Go and sin no more.” You may have missed that part of the non-judging sermonette. Non-judgmentalism does not mean sin is no longer sin.

Nice try though, it’ll convince most Americans that you’re a good Christian.

McCain Likes Christians Best, Sort Of

Republican presidential candidate John McCain says America is better off with a Christian president, and he doesn’t want a Muslim in the Oval Office.

“I admire the Islam. There’s a lot of good principles in it,” he said. “But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith.”

McCain later came under attack for his remarks, “That kind of attitude goes against the American tradition of religious pluralism and inclusion,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

So, being John McCain, he immediately changed his mind and said he would vote for a Muslim if they were the best candidate for the job. Way to stick it out John.

Holy Land Tour Fraud

A tour of the Holy Land has gotten into some hot water for leaving behind a mess. They may now be in hot water for leading a fraudulent tour of the Holy Land.

Hundreds of passport photos, human hairs laid out in circle, an endless amount of requests to God, a prayer shawl, and an Israeli flag were found scattered at Solomon’s Pillars in Timna National Park near Eilat Thursday night.

After finding numerous prayer notes and letters, park officials estimated that the worshippers were Christians who were told by their priest that the site was actually the Western Wall.

Nice one. Anything for a buck and a rush though, I’m sure both parties are still happy.

Miracle Theater Needs A Miracle

Christians have not taken comedian Kathy Griffin’s remark at the Emmy award show earlier this month lightly. Thousands of believers are signing a national petition to take a stand against the anti-Christian by-products of Hollywood.

The Miracle Theater began the petition with hopes of getting 1 million “Christians” to sign their name to demand respect. So far 65,000 souls have signed a week and a half after the hubbub is over.

“The message of this petition is simple respect. Our primary objective is to give any person who wants to speak out in support of Christ, an outlet to do so,” said Russ Hollingsworth, general manager of The Miracle Theater. “There is strength in numbers. One million people speaking up just can’t be ignored.”

Just last night I was speaking on the power of God and how Paul says it is God’s power that allows him to handle disrespect and prosecution with joy and glory. Today believers demand respect showing once again that “Christians” have no faith in the power of God.

The more the church is persecuted the more people come to Christ, that’s what Scripture and history clearly show. When Christianity is respected it’s because we’ve sold out to be loved by the world. I don’t want the world to respect me. I have faith in God, this world is not my home and the world is largely irrelevant to the follower of Christ.

Vintage Jesus Car Show

Epicenter Community Church officials think they’ve found a way to tie-in the church’s grand opening and its first message series, called “Vintage Jesus.” The church plans to hold a classic car show, featuring vintage vehicles, in the parking lot in front of Williams Elementary School in Parrish, where the church will also hold its services.

Just last night I was speaking on the power of God. Paul talks about power quite a bit in 1& 2 Corinthians. One of his points is that he doesn’t dress up the Gospel, he doesn’t use man’s wisdom or words to impress them.

If he did, he knows that the next impressive guy would sway them his way. Paul relied on the power of God, the preaching of the message of the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit to convict and bring men to Christ.

Today it does not appear as though believers have any confidence in God’s power. We need classic cars to get people to Christ. That seems like good marketing and many would disagree with me. But the Bible is not about borrowing man’s wisdom to get across its message.

The power of God is displayed when what is foolish (according to man) works. The whole thing is sick. Classic cars will aid many people on the broad road. Hope the refreshments are worth it.

PTL Retirement Center

The land previously owned by Jim Bakker and the PTL has an almost completed 20-story tall building on it. The land has been scooped up and attempts have been made to make the building into a retirement home for seniors by MorningStar Ministries.

MorningStar’s founder and director, Rick Joyner, hopes to make the tower home to an active adult community, following the biblical belief to honor parents.

“When we found out the building was salvageable, we thought the best use was to help our seniors. I want to make their last years their best — most fruitful and filled with purposes,” Joyner said. “It’ll be a unique community, but a good one.”

Isn’t there something odd about that last statement?

Science And Christianity

I’ve been on a science kick lately. I read some Isaac Asimov and am now reading a book on the founding of the Royal Society, a group of guys who got together to do science. I just got a few more books from the library today on Leonardo Da Vinci.

I do not have a scientific mind, I get the ideas but have no clue how to explain them nor do I have the patience to study stuff in such detail. One of the stunning things about science is how recent most scientific discoveries have been made.

A guy in the 1600’s proposed that the moon has craters because it had a molten center and lots of volcanic activity. It was until the late 1900’s that they found out the craters got there by stuff hitting the moon.

I find this interesting on at least two fronts:

1) Beware the desire to state things with certainty! Scientific theories need to be tested over many years before they become laws. The Scientific Method is a great tool and should be used liberally.

2) Beware the desire to knock certain things because they are new. This is a favorite critique of dispensationalism, “it’s so new it can’t possibly be true.” Not so my friend, dispensationalism was around 150 years before we knew the moon’s craters weren’t volcanic!

3) Beware the deception of science that can cloud reason just as much as emotions, politics, finances or anything else. Scientists frequently have to amend the past as they continue to learn. Sticking with a point that is no longer true only leads to tragedy.

Science has its place, it is not the enemy of God, it is further revelation of God and His character, endeavor to keep it in its place.

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” 1 Timothy 6:20

Benny Hinn’s Protege Steve Munsey

Here is a post on Benny Hinn’s fill-in. Conclusion: he’s worse than the original.

Here is some of the stuff he taught in a half-hour show:

1) The Rapture of the Church will take place on the Day of Atonement…well, kind-a-sort-a.

2) Jesus was born on the Day of Atonement and the earth was created on the Day of Atonement.

3) Most wars are started and most natural disasters occur on the Day of Atonement and during the month/season of Atonement.

4) By giving to his ministry (and others like it, but better if it is his ministry) during this “season of atonement,” God promises that we will receive 7 things from God. According to Mr. Munsey, the book of Joel promises:
1. Double Portion
2. Financial Abundance
3. Restoration of things lost or taken way
4. Miracles
5. God’s Divine Presence
6. Blessings Upon Your Family
7. Deliverance

Fishing In The Bible

Fishermen around areas mentioned in the New Testament lured fish with fire, excavation of fishing gear found in a 7th century shipwreck off the coast of Dor, Israel, west of Galilee, where Jesus is said to have preached, has revealed.

The standout item among the found gear is a fire basket, the first evidence for “fire fishing” in the ancient eastern Mediterranean.

As you may recall, Peter was out fishing all night when Jesus came and told him to cast his net on the other side (John 21:3). Interesting article.

Pacific Garden Mission

For decades, a 15-by-10-foot cross declaring “Jesus Saves” hovered over State Street in Chicago. Until Tuesday, it hung from the building that housed the Pacific Garden Mission, a shelter that serves the indigent. The cross was removed and will be taken to the mission’s new location in an industrial area south of Chicago’s business district.

Pacific Garden Mission is a very neat organization. They are probably best known for their radio program Unshackled. I knew about their move but honestly had forgot about it. They had some troubles with the government as I recall. Continued success to them.

Mary Pine Tree A Fraud

A woman who claims that the Virgin Mary has been appearing in a pine tree at her Surrey home for over 20 years has been dismissed as a fraud by the Vatican.

There’s a shock.

And I learned something in the article too. The Vaticanly organization that condemned her apparition is called the “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” You may recall its more famous name it had some years ago, the “Inquisition.” Wonder why they changed the name?

Satan’s Bible

A monumental Bible rumoured to have been written with the help of the Devil has been returned to Prague for the first time in 350 years.

Apparently this is the world’s largest Bible and here is the legend behind it.

One of the two pages on show features a drawing of the Devil. According to legend, the drawing is the scribe’s tribute to the role Satan played in the Bible’s creation.

Sentenced to be walled up and die a slow death for some unutterable sin, a monk promised to write out the world’s biggest Bible in return for his freedom. With just one night to produce it, he enlisted the help of the Devil.

No word as to how good the Devil’s handwriting is. Crazy things go on over there in the Europe. The Bible is to return to Sweden in early 2008, what a relief for them.

Matt Baker

A former pastor and youth center chaplain has been arrested on a murder charge in connection with his wife’s death that initially was ruled a suicide.

Last year his wife was found dead of an apparent drug overdose. Her parents questioned the evidence and had her body exhumed for another autopsy. Due to their findings her cause of death has been labeled “undetermined.”

Now it seems to point to the husband as the murderer.

Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta sold his soul to the highest bidder on eBay in 2006. The idea was that whoever won could tell him where to go to church for a year.

Jim Henderson, a former pastor from Seattle, won the bidding at $504. He decided to send Hemant to different churches in the Chicago area to see how an atheist would respond to them.

A publisher heard about this deal and Hemant now has a new book out, I Sold My Soul On eBay, recounting his church visiting experiences.

Long story short: he’s still an atheist but megachurches still made him feel good with their happy talk.

College Destroys Faith?

It wasn’t long ago I was told that 80% of “Christian” kids who go to public schools will renounce their faith by the end of high school. I found that absolutely ridiculous but then it only gets worse. If a Christian kid actually does survive high school, odds are if he goes to college he’ll come home on Christmas break praying to Buddha.

Well Christian parents, relax. No need for hyper-sensitive reactions. There’s a new study out showing that Christian kids don’t lose their faith at college.

Texas researchers found that college students were less likely to lose their religion than others in their age group, 18 to 25 years old.

Of the Texas study subjects, interviewed in 2001-02, almost 24 percent of those who never attended college said religion had become less important to them, compared with 15 percent of those who had earned a bachelor’s degree. The workplace is much more hostile to religion than the campus.

So there grieving Christian parent waiting for your Christian kid to fall off the deep end. They won’t do it in college, they’ll wait until the have a job. Now you can sleep better.

Mary Winkler

Mary Winkler, convicted of shooting and killing her pastor husband, has now gotten visitation rights with her kids again.

Mary Winkler will be able to visit her three daughters again, starting a week from Saturday, after more than a year with no physical contact with them.

Carroll County Chancellor Ron Harmon granted Winkler limited supervised visitation with the children Wednesday. His decision followed a long day of conflicting testimony, mostly from psychologists on whether it is safe for Winkler to have visitation with the children, Patricia, 9, Mary Alice, 8, and Brianna, 2.

Her former in-laws have current custody of the children and are suing to be able to adopt the kids. Poor kids.

Church Gets Pass From IRS

The IRS has been investigating a church in Pasadena over a sermon in which the pastor criticized the Bush administration and their war. The IRS claimed this was a violation of the seperation of church and state.

The IRS has concluded their investigation and decided the church is fine. The pastor of the church isn’t fine though, he wants an official apology.

Pastor Bacon said the IRS statement leaves the situation muddled, as the IRS reportedly told the church that its leaders had in fact violated tax laws when one criticized Bush Administration war policies from the pulpit two days before the 2004 presidential election.

Bacon said the IRS statement has left a “chilling effect” on the freedom of clerics to preach about moral issues in politics, the Web site reported.

One might say that pastor Bacon is fried. One also may not.

Mary And Jesus In Miami

A security guard spotted her [Mary’s] image on a cloth inside the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

“I didn’t expect it to be so clear,” said Magdi Castaneda. “You could actually clearly see the silhouette of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Family, but the clearest one is the silhouette of the Virgin Mary, and you see the silhouette of Joseph and the curve of the head of baby Jesus.”

Since then hundreds of people have come in to the church to pray and no doubt leave with less money. Sorry there is no picture.

Boston Hates Jesus

The New York Yankees are making a charge at the Boston Red Sox, reducing their division lead to a game and a half. There is much anxiety in Boston, so much so that they have decided to attack Jesus.

Vandals toppled a 160-year-old marble bust of Christ from a grand staircase landing at the Boston Public Library, leaving a companion sculpture of Lucifer undamaged, a library spokesperson said.

The statues date back to 1845 and were attacked one other time in the 70’s, Lucifer was spared that time too. According to surveillance cameras this latest attack was done by a man and a woman. The woman threw something at the statue and then they toppled it off it’s stand.

After seeing her good arm, the Red Sox signed her for two years.

Bynum And Weeks Criticized

Juanita Bynum and Thomas Weeks are using their much publicized marital problems to boost their career. They see no problem with this. Juanita has claimed herself to be “the new face of domestic violence.”

It’s good to know that the church in America still has some integrity as there has been much criticism passed their way.

Conservative critics among the evangelical clergy have accused her of exploiting the attack for publicity, calling her “loud,” “angry,” “aggressive” and “out of control,” while a group of black and Hispanic churches has demanded Mr. Weeks’ resignation.

Of course, their faithful followers are shocked that there’s a problem, showing the depth of spiritual growth they enjoyed under the Weeks’ ministry. One critic of Bynum asked how she could be a prophetess and not see this coming? Indeed.

Peace That Passes Understanding

There has always been a desire for peace. We desire peace in our world, we desire peace in our families and we want it in our hearts as well.

Unfortunately, as long as this world stands, there won’t be much of it. Even Jesus said he did not come to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34).

How can the One who brought a sword offer us peace?

Christians frequently mention God’s peace and how great it is and how it passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). But how do you get this peace?

You get it by thinking on pure and good things (Philippians 4:8). You also get it by doing the things the Bible says to do. Many believers are hung up on this stuff about “being and not doing.” This is also a main reason why so few believers have peace.

Doing what the Bible says and thinking on the good things it directs you to is the way to get God’s peace. Peace is not automatic; peace is contrary to this world. Peace must be sought out and worked for.

If you don’t have peace in your life there is a reason why: you aren’t doing what God’s Word says.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Philippians 4:9

St. Joseph Sells Homes

The real estate market has tanked in America recently and you can hardly give away a home anymore. But, have no fear, there is hope: bury a statue of St. Joseph in the property you want to sell and your home will go quick.

“Houses in neighbourhoods where you used to not even put up a ‘for sale’ sign before they were snapped up were sitting on the market for more than 30 days. We don’t force the idea on our clients but if a seller says something to me about St Joseph, I say, absolutely, go out, get one and bury it. What else can we do in this market?”

Here is some background as to why Joe is considered the patron saint of home sellers. Here is also a place where you can get your very own Joe statue to help sell your own home.

Kathy Griffin And Miracle Theater

The Miracle Theater has taken out a full-page, $100,000 ad to protest offensive remarks against Christianity. The Miracle Theater is made up of “Christians” who are involved in the film industry and their protest centers around our pal Kathy Griffin.

Russ Hollingsworth, The Miracle Theater General Manager, says, “It seems like Christianity is the only religion that it’s acceptable to persecute. It made my heart sick to see people in the audience at the Emmy’s laughing at Griffin’s remarks. It should not be acceptable to mock anyone’s faith. We have to start changing the hearts and minds of people on this subject!”

I think I’ll start a petition of Christians who count it all joy when the world acknowledges that Jesus Christ is indeed the one true God. Why protest our greatest source of joy? It would be worse if we were actually being Christ-like.

God Grew Tired Of Us

This is the biography of John Bul Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. It recounts his childhood running from violence across hundreds of miles of desert and living in refugee camps. He was brought to the US on a special program to rescue the Lost Boys.

He now lives in Syracuse, NY. What a life. Amazing what a person can go through when he has to. It’s also sick to see what humans can do to each other. Dau is a charismatic Presbyterian and it was interesting reading his African views of Christianity in America.

An interesting read, perhaps about 50 pages too long but an interesting first-hand account of life in Sudan in the last 30 years.


Your hope is only as strong as the object of your hope.

It’s easy to be discouraged with all the problems in the world and all the hurting people around us not to mention our own problems.

It seems as if all hope is lost, who can possibly rescue the situation?

Our hope is not in the presence or absence of problems. Our hope is to be in the One who calls us to an unproblematic world. As long as we are in a fallen world our hope will be tested, our hope is in another world.

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (Romans 8:24)

Hope saves us and our hope comes later. If you are looking for a cessation of problems in this life as evidence of faith or the presence of God, you are missing the entire point. Our hope is later, in a place that cannot be tainted with rust, moth or thievery.

Hope is a way of life, it’s the true source of joy. It’s what allows us to persevere and stand for things that the world hates. Hope is the vital center of faith, so much so that faith and hope are used interchangeably (we’re saved by faith and hope).

Where is your hope? Make sure it’s in the right thing as it will shape your entire life.

Pastor Salaries

Christianity Today is about to release their latest survey on pastor’s salaries. Here is an initial revelation of their findings. They found in part that

Presbyterian senior pastors earned the most in our survey—their average salary plus housing/parsonage was $78,000, while Baptist senior pastors earned next to last–$67,000.

$67,000 is next to last! That’s incredible to me. Apparently, the best way to make money pastoring is to be a woman pastor with a doctorate preaching in a Presbyterian church.

I would also like to point out that women pastors get paid more than male pastors. They scratch their heads as to how that could be the case. Me, being an individual with no corporate image to uphold, can answer the conundrum quite easily.

Scripture couldn’t be clearer on the issue of women not being allowed to be pastors. Churches, in an effort to make up for doing the forbidden, will pay them more money to ease their guilt and keep them happy.

This would be similar to the rising costs of having a wedding: The more a couple spends on their wedding the more likely they are to get a divorce (See the last paragraph). Spending money is compensating for a lack of integrity. Perhaps the more a pastor gets paid the more the church is covering guilt? Just a theory.

Let me also add that 73% of Americans make less than $50,000 a year. Pastors are making on average about $70,000. Pastors are doing a great job following the example of Christ: We become rich so they are made poor. Oh wait, wait a minute now. I think we got that backwards.

Faith And Uncertainty

Everyone has uncertainty in life. Everyone faces trials and decisions they don’t know how to handle. Whether you are a Believer or not, your life will be filled with uncertainty.

The World attempts to handle uncertainty by hedging bets: Plan, save money, get security, buy insurance, plan some more, get as comfortable as possible and continue as best you can. Everyone dies though, uncertainty keeps coming regardless of your planning and supposed security.

The believer has uncertainty too, but this very uncertainty is what leads him to certain faith. “Faith is forged through doubt” is how Paul Tournier puts it. We put our faith in what is certain: Truth, prayer, God, another world, eternal reward and the other great promises of God.

Unfortunately, many who play Believer show they lack faith by turning to the world’s mode of handling uncertainty. Believers chuck the promises and Truth of God for the planning, saving, security and comfort of this world.

Faith in the world and its system is no substitute for the real thing. The problem with faith is that you are depending on a certainty that is not yet seen. We walk by faith not by sight. We walk by trusting Another not by planning.

Faith, however, will add more uncertainty to life. You have to flaunt the world’s system of planning and dealing with uncertainty. The Believer then has normal uncertainty of living in a fallen world and adds on top the uncertainty of trying to carry out the Bible’s mode of living while everyone else does the opposite thing.

Faith is more uncertainty on top of normal uncertainty. Yet, for the true Believer, the uncertainty of faith is undergirded with eternal certainties that allow the Believer to persevere to the end.

Abraham left to go to a place he didn’t know about. Noah left it all for a boat. Moses left it all to help a bunch of whiners. Jesus left heaven for us. We now leave it all to gain our soul. It’s worth it. Uncertainty can only be beaten by what is certain. Only what is of a different world can be certain.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Hebrews 11:13

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