Archive for June 9, 2012


Two weeks ago I attended the memorial service for Chuck Colson at the National Cathedral. After the service, I spoke with Patty Colson, Chuck’s wife of 48 years, and I asked her if she had any advice for me for doing BreakPoint. She said, “Do what Chuck did – read the New York Times.”

Of course I do read the New York Times because it is a great resource for teaching worldview – because most of the time it perfectly illustrates the opposite of the Christian worldview.

For instance, the Times recently ran a fawning article about a psychiatrist named Robert Spitzer. Spitzer played a big role in the American Psychiatric Association’s politically charged decision in the early 1970s to drop homosexuality from its manual of mental disorders. Spitzer became a hero in the gay community.

In 2003, however, Spitzer decided to investigate the claims of people who had gone through some form of reparative therapy. The results were explosive. As Spitzer recalled, “The majority of participants gave reports of change from predominantly or exclusively homosexual orientation before therapy to a predominantly or exclusive heterosexual orientation in the past year.”

Predictably, the gay lobby got very upset. They attacked the study’s methodology, how the results were interpreted by others, and the morality of doing such a study in the first place.

But now, as told in the Times article, Spitzer is backing down. He says that when a journalist told him he had undergone reparative therapy at the urging of his parents, and that the therapy had “delayed his self-acceptance as a gay man,” Spitzer decided to apologize for a study that he now considers fatally flawed – because, he said, “there was no way to determine if the subject’s accounts of change were valid.”

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Of course, there was never any chance the gay lobby was going to accept Spitzer’s study – no matter how well designed it was. They are too heavily invested in the claim that people are “born gay” and cannot possibly change their orientation.

And if the Times writer Benedict Carey had wanted to cover this story fairly, perhaps he could have made some effort to track down former patients who were happy with the counseling or therapy that they had undergone – men who had seen their same-sex attractions diminish. There are plenty of them, as my friend, psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover, notes in his book “Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth.”

Satinover writes, “Since the professional normalization of homosexuality, we no longer hear of the many successful programs that continue to ‘cure’ homosexuality nor of the deeply moving stories of those who have successfully negotiated this difficult passage.”

While the debate over how many people will benefit from such therapy will doubtless continue, we’ve got to be clear on the biblical position about human sexuality, and that is that God intended it for the blessing of a man and a woman within marriage and for the procreation of children; and that all sexual activity (hetero- and homosexual) that is outside of marriage is outside of God’s will. And we and our churches should be offering love and support to anyone who is struggling in this area.

I hope you’ll read Dr. Satinover’s book. It is informative, compassionate – and it’s a great resource for those who want the truth about homosexuality.

Because while the New York Times says that it gives us all the news that’s fit to print, when it comes to covering success stories that back up the Christian worldview, all too often the truth itself becomes a culture-war casualty.

READ: WHY PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE TO STAY GAY

http://www.christianpost.com/news/no-such-thing-as-ex-gay-76213/


If the election were held tomorrow, Mitt Romney would be the next president of the United States. Why? Because many voters are afraid, that’s why. And fearful people usually try to change their circumstances.

If you listen to talk radio or watch cable news, you’d think everyone was an ideologue, obsessed with party politics. But many, perhaps most, American voters are not wedged into a voting pattern. The same country that elected the conservative George W. Bush voted for the very liberal Barack Obama the next time around. It is perception that wins national elections.

Bush was perceived to be a terror warrior, and that’s why he won a second term. Voters wanted payback for 9/11, and Bush, along with the fierce Dick Cheney, simply had more tough guy cred than Al Gore or John Kerry. At least that was the perception.

Obama isn’t nearly as tough as Sen. John McCain, but by 2008, the faltering economy had overridden the terror threat, and the slick senator from Illinois promised hope and change, a return to prosperity and fairness. McCain promised “Country First.” Nobody quite knew what that meant, and voters did want a change from the vicious recessionary economy, so Obama won.

Now, voters are scared that their jobs may disappear. They already see their retirement and educational funds evaporating, and most of us know folks who are desperate for money. So the economic fear is real, not perceived, and President Obama has done little to soothe the angst. He’s still hoping his Big Government policies will stimulate the economy even as the TV flashes pictures of Greeks rioting in the streets.

Romney is not exactly John Kennedy, so Obama still has a chance to squeak out a victory in November. Romney must perform well in the debates and convince Americans that the president simply does not understand economics — and that he has the magic capitalistic touch that will rebuild the empire. If the governor can stay out of foolish controversies and dodge the landmines the pro-Obama media will lay for him, he will be living larger than he lives now. The White House dwarfs even Romney’s lavish beachside shack in La Jolla, Calif.

I believe Obama knows he’s in trouble, and that’s why he is courting his leftwing base so hard. He has to get all of them out on Election Day, and if that means “evolving” on gay marriage, so be it. Obama is a hardball player who will do everything he can to keep his job. There are not that many openings for messiahs these days in the private sector.

The election is about five months from now, and many things can happen in that time. But fear is a powerful emotion and not easily diminished. So the president should be afraid. Very afraid.

Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” and author of “Who’s Looking Out For You?” and Pinheads and Patriots.

http://townhall.com/columnists/billoreilly/2012/06/09/the_fear_vote


Jesus’ Hand Will Touch You Too.


“Our citizenship is in heaven” Philippians 3:20

Victoria Perez watched as the Cessna touched down on the road in the distance. When she was sure it was him, she shouted to her children, “That’s your father!” Grabbing the little ones, they ran to the plane and scrambled aboard. The engine buzzed to life, and the tiny aircraft lifted off. They were finally leaving Cuba. It had been two years since her husband Orestes had defected to the United States, and he had finally returned to fly them to their new home in America.

I am sure that Victoria initially lived for the day that her husband would return and take her to their new home in a better land! But I wonder, not knowing when he would return, if she ever gave up hope and hunkered down in her home in Cuba as though it was the only home she would ever have?

You’re probably connecting the dots. As followers of Jesus, this world is not really our home. For the most part, it’s not all that bad a place to live—but it’s still not home. Jesus has not only gone to prepare a place for us but has promised that He will come again to take us there (John 14:1-6). And as Paul notes in our text for today, our citizenship is in heaven. So, until we get there, we need to consider ourselves transient, like immigrants on our way to a better place. Saint John the Divine said it best when he wrote: “God is at home; we are in the far country.”

So what should we do to keep our eyes toward heaven and our hearts fixed on our new home?

Our first challenge is to remember that we are people of a different nation. We are people of His kingdom (Colossians 1:12-13). As citizens of a different land, we live by the principles of our homeland. We are generous, we forgive, we serve others instead of ourselves, we are patient and kind and extend mercy and grace whenever we can. Jesus is our King and we live to be like Him. Like pasta is to Italians, so living like Jesus is to people who are citizens of heaven!

With Abraham, we consider ourselves strangers and aliens here, desiring a better country (Hebrews 11:13-16). It’s not that we are aliens in the weird sense. We don’t have antennas on our heads and green skin. But if we know where we are headed, we will be different—wonderfully different!

Of course, there are things to enjoy and appreciate here. Being citizens of heaven doesn’t mean that we don’t live to revel in the glory of God in art, music, nature, friendships, love, and the material gifts that He has graciously bestowed on us. But when we are headed home, those things don’t ever tempt us to set up permanent residence in their pleasure. In fact, if we were to lose everything here, we could still hold our head high because we can never lose our greatest treasure: Jesus and the home where He will take us when He comes again. We live in the midst of both pleasure and pain with the confidence that the best is yet to come!

The old hymn gets it right when it says, Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Victoria Perez must have known that. As she and her children ran for the plane, one of the kids lost a shoe. “Forget the shoe!” Victoria yelled. “Father is in the plane!” 

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • The Bible says that heaven is for people who trust Jesus Christ as their Savior. If you don’t know Him, read the following verses to discover how to invite Jesus into your heart: Romans 3:10; 3:23; 5:12; 5:8; 6:23; 10:9-13.
  • Do you ever get tired of living in a place that is not your home? Search the New Testament for verses that show what heaven (your true home) is like. Make a list of all the things you are looking forward to when you arrive!
  • Are you living as if this earth is your true home? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the beauty of unhindered service for Christ.

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/living-here-for-there/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GetMoreStrength+%28Strength+For+The+Journey%29


Everyone who asks receives . . . —Luke 11:10

Ask if you have not received. There is nothing more difficult than asking. We will have yearnings and desires for certain things, and even suffer as a result of their going unfulfilled, but not until we are at the limit of desperation will we ask. It is the sense of not being spiritually real that causes us to ask. Have you ever asked out of the depths of your total insufficiency and poverty? “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God . . . ” (James 1:5), but be sure that you do lack wisdom before you ask. You cannot bring yourself to the point of spiritual reality anytime you choose. The best thing to do, once you realize you are not spiritually real, is to ask God for the Holy Spirit, basing your request on the promise of Jesus Christ (see Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is the one who makes everything that Jesus did for you real in your life.

“Everyone who asks receives . . . .” This does not mean that you will not get if you do not ask, but it means that until you come to the point of asking, you will not receive from God (seeMatthew 5:45). To be able to receive means that you have to come into the relationship of a child of God, and then you comprehend and appreciate mentally, morally, and with spiritual understanding, that these things come from God.

“If any of you lacks wisdom . . . .” If you realize that you are lacking, it is because you have come in contact with spiritual reality— do not put the blinders of reason on again. The word ask actually means “beg.” Some people are poor enough to be interested in their poverty, and some of us are poor enough spiritually to show our interest. Yet we will never receive if we ask with a certain result in mind, because we are asking out of our lust, not out of our poverty. A pauper does not ask out of any reason other than the completely hopeless and painful condition of his poverty. He is not ashamed to beg— blessed are the paupers in spirit (see Matthew 5:3).

http://utmost.org/then-what%E2%80%99s-next-to-do/


Sunshine fell upon the walls of King David’s palace on Mount Zion. The trees in the royal gardens swayed in the breeze, and the doves fluttered up to the windows; but all was hushed and still within. Black slaves glided to and fro with naked feet, and the women took off their tinkling armlets and talked in whispers; for in a little chamber, with shaded window and curtained door, a dark-eyed mother sat watching her child-the king’s child-whose flushed cheeks showed that he was very ill and near to death.

Now when he heard that his boy was so ill, the king, who was now a man of middle age, threw himself upon the floor of his room in the bitterness of his grief and prayed to God to spare the life of the child.

His friends came and stood round and spoke to him, trying to comfort him; but he would not rise, nor let them raise him up, nor would he take any food. So he passed the dark night in praying and in sorrow, while the mother watched the child by the light of a small lamp, and slaves stood outside the chamber door to keep silence.

The morning came, and sunshine fluttered on the trees in the king’s gardens and on the hills round the town. Then the king asked for the child, but the answer was that he was no better; and all the people saw that King David’s grief was very great, and they wondered. For the monarch had fought in many cruel battles, and beaten his enemies, and caused the death of many men and women, and even children, and he had done many cruel things in his lifetime.

He now had riches and honour and numerous children, and was the great king of Jerusalem, living in a palace, with servants and horses and gardens and fountains, and he had brought the golden ark of God to be near him in a purple tent on Mount Zion; but he had set his whole heart on this fair-haired child, and the fear that the little one might die took the joy out of everything.

The peacocks on the walls and the doves on the roof missed the little child from the garden, where he used to come and feed them. For seven long days and seven longer nights the loving mother watched him as he lay getting slowly worse; and the king’s grief was so great that he would not rise from the floor to eat by day or night, and when his slaves spoke to him he paid no heed and would not answer.

He refused to put on the fresh clothing they brought for him, or to wash in the brass basins of water held out to him, or to eat the food placed on the table at his side; but he lay on the floor of his little room groaning, and praying to God for the little one.

After a week of suffering the little one passed away in the hushed room of the king’s palace at Jerusalem, and the weeping mother was led away from the bedside of her dead child. Sorrowing friends went to tell the king in his chamber; but when they came to the door of his room they stopped and whispered, saying,-

“If he would not listen to us while the child yet lived, what will his grief be if we say that the boy is dead?”

The king heard them talking, and looking up, saw from their faces what had happened. Then he asked if the child was dead, and they told him, expecting that he would break out into wild grief; but he did not. Rising from the floor, where he had lain so long, he asked for water; and his slaves washed him and brought clean, fresh clothing, and combed and oiled his hair.

He spoke to no one, but went out into the sunshine and the wind; and they watched to see what he would do, and where he would go. He did not linger among the shady walks of the king’s garden or by the ponds where the red lilies grew and the swans shook out their white plumes in the sun.

His friends followed him as he went slowly out of the palace gardens and away to the great tent of purple and crimson, which he liked to call the House of God, on Mount Zion; and they stopped outside when he drew the rich curtains apart and went in. There in the darkness he knelt, and with hands upraised bowed his face to the ground before God as he poured out his soul in prayer.

After a time the king came out of the great tent again, and his friends and servants followed him as he returned to his palace. He had not yet spoken, and they could not understand why he did not weep and mourn for the child. He asked for food, and they wondered yet more as he ate from the dishes which the slaves brought him.

“What is this that thou doest?” asked one of his friends. “While the child lived thou didst weep for him, and wouldst take no food; and now that he is dead thou dost rise and eat.”

They thought he had been only mourning as he lay for days on the floor; but he had been praying, and now he answered them,-

“While he was yet alive I fasted and wept; for I thought, ‘Who knoweth whether God may not be merciful to me, and the child may live?’ But now he is dead, and why should I fast? I cannot bring him back to life again. Some day I shall die and go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Whether such thoughts as these comforted the mother’s heart, we are not told; but the king himself tried to comfort her. After a time she had another little boy, and she called him Solomon, “the peaceful one,” for mothers chose the names in those days. And as his nurse carried him about the garden, clad in a little blue robe with white tassels, the people said that he too was a beautiful child; and he grew up to be good and wise and handsome, and loved his mother dearly. And years afterwards this child became the great King Solomon, whom all men thought so wise.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Children-in-the-Bible/King-Davids-Little-Boy.shtml


We are called the lights of the world, light-bearers, reflectors, candle-sticks, lamps. We are to be kindled ourselves, and then we will burn and give light to others.

We are the only light the world has. The Lord might come down Himself and give light to the world, but He has chosen differently. He wants to send it through us, and if we don’t give it the world will not have it.

We should be giving light all the time to our neighbors. God does not put a meteor in the sky to tell us when to shine. We are to be giving light all the time wherever we are, at home, or in the social circle, or in our place in the church.

We should feel always we may never have another opportunity for it, and so we should always be burning and shining for Him. Let our lamps be trimmed and burning and full of the oil of the Spirit. Above all, let us be a steady light to the lost ones.

Let me dwell in Timnath Serah,

Where the sun forever shines,

Where the night and darkness come not,

And the day no more declines

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/a-b-simpson-devotional.shtml