Thursday, January 1, 2015

He has given us new birth into a living hope

We have future and a hope

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD.
"They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope."
-- Jeremiah 29:11, NLT
Looking forward to what lies ahead
"No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be,
but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God,
through Christ Jesus,
is calling us up to heaven."
 -- Philippians 3:13-14, NLT

His mercies begin afresh each day
"The unfailing love of the LORD never ends!
By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" -- Lamentations 3:22-24, NASB
New birth into a living hope
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy
He has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead."
-- 1Peter 1:3, NIV
All things have become new
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new." 
-- Corinthians 5:17, NKJV



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Historical significance behind Veteran's Day

Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I that occurred at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. Therefore, the day is recognized on November 11.

In 1919, President Wilson stated these words:

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations..."

In 1938, it was made a legal federal holiday.

Though the day was originally set aside to honor the Veterans of World War I with a day of parades and remembrances as well as a pause in activities at 11am on the day, after World War II and the Korean War, Congress recognized we should recognize all of our Veterans.

In 1954, the word "Armistice" was replaced with "Veterans" to include Veterans of all American wars in a day of remembrance for not only those who died in service to our country, but also to recognize those who continue to serve today.

 Veterans Day is today celebrated with parades and ceremonies throughout the country.  In Washington, D.C., there is a special wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Thank you, Veterans, for serving to protect our freedoms.

Veteran's Day Remarks by President Kennedy, 1961, click here.

Friday, July 4, 2014

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Poem for Mother's Day

'Heaven for Mothers'
by Arthur Frederic Otis

I wonder...does heaven give mothers
A sort of separate place,
With clothing to mend
And bruises to tend
And tears on a very small face?

And do you suppose there are minutes
In which there is much to be done,
When breakfast is rushed
And curls must be brushed...
Girls sent off to school on the run?

And do you suppose there are kitchens
With boys seeking something to eat,
And pies, cakes, and jells
And heavenly smells,
Sought out by small pattering feet?

And will there be rugs to be walked on
By shoes not too carefully clean,
And fingermarks small
On woodwork and wall,
Right where they are sure to be seen?

And do you suppose there is darkness,
With small figures kneeling in white,
And tales to be told
And covers to fold
And hands to be held very tight?

There must be...for how else would mothers
Find joy that is promised above,
When all of their days
Are spent finding ways
Of serving the children they love?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Did the resurrection of Jesus evolve as a story from ancient myths?

They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.  1Thessalonians 1:9-10

Why should the story of Jesus' resurrection have any more credibility than tales of dying and rising gods such as Osiris, Adonis, Attis, and Marduk -- that are so obviously mythological?

First, good historical evidence exists for Jesus' resurrection. It's impossible to dismiss the resurrection unless you can refute its solid core of supporting evidence.

Second, T.N.D. Mettinger--a senior Swedish scholar, professor at Lund University and member of the Royal Academy of Letters, History, and Antiquities of Stockholm--wrote one of the most recent academic treatment of dying and rising gods in antiquity. He admits in his book, The Riddle of Resurrection that the nearly universal consensus among modern scholars is that no dying and rising gods preceded Christianity. They all postdated the first century. Obviously, that timing is crucial: Christianity couldn't have borrowed the idea of the resurrection if myths about dying and rising gods weren't even circulating when Christianity was birthed in the first century AD.

Mettinger, however, takes a decidedly minority position by claiming there might be as many as five examples of dying and rising gods that predate Christianity. However after analyzing these accounts he found that none of them serve as actual parallels to Jesus' resurrection story. None of them.

They are far different from the reports of Jesus rising from the dead. They occurred in the unspecified and distant past and were usually related to the seasonal life and death cycle of vegetation. In contrast, Jesus' resurrection isn't repeated, isn't related to changes in the seasons and was sincerely believed to be an actual event by those who lived in the same generation of the historical Jesus. In addition, Mettinger concludes that "there is no evidence for the death of the dying and rising gods as vicarious suffering for sins" and that "the death and resurrection of Jesus retains unique character in the history of religions."

-----Adapted from interview with Dr. Michael Licona

Note: The myth of Attis does predate Christianity. However, there is no reference to his resurrection until at least 100 years after Christ rose from the dead.

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