Archive for July 8, 2012

Drop His Name!

Are you seeking to reach your friends, neighbors, classmates or teammates for Christ? Then drop the “J bomb” sooner rather than later. Don’t wait for days, weeks, months or years. Drop it early and often.

Rescued From the Fire of Judgement

We all have friends and family who are in harm’s way, and we carry the only evacuation notice that can save them! That’s why this little verse tucked away in the closing parts of the New Testament should be a spark that kindles a holy flame inside of us to become God’s firefighters: Strive to save others, snatching them out of the fire (Jude 1:23).

Two Nice People!

. . . technology can also be a huge advantage in the fight to recognize and protect the sanctity of human life-every human life. For example, pro-lifers have worked diligently to place sonogram machines into pregnancy care clinics, and the presence of these high-tech wonders-which clearly show the humanity of the fetus-has no doubt contributed mightily to a substantial drop in the abortion rate, as well as a marked increase in the percentage of Americans who consider themselves to be pro-life.

All it takes is a 30-second perusal of the supermarket tabloids to confirm what you already know:

There is an excessive, if not obsessive, draw to celebrity in the culture. From Tim Tebow to Kate Middleton to Kim Kardashian, people are drawn to certain individuals, for any number of reasons.

But a fascination with the famous is by no means a new phenomenon. It manifests itself differently today than 50 years ago, but human nature is still the same. Often an obsession with celebrity is marked by a sort of innocently conceived voyeuristic spirit, but there have been times when it’s had tragic consequences.

When 25-year-old Mark David Chapman stepped forward and fired five shots outside New York City’s Dakota Hotel on the night of December 8, 1980, killing Beatles legend John Lennon, he did so, he said, out of a compulsion for fame. “I thought [I] was a big nobody, a big nothing,” he told investigators, “and I couldn’t let it go.” Eventually convicted for murder, Chapman stood before the parole board 20 years later and admitted with frustration, “I’m [now] a bigger nobody than I was before.”

His request for release from life imprisonment was denied. He remains in prison today.

Less than four months later, on a cold and wet March 30, 1981, another 25-year-old drifter, John Hinckley, fired six shots at President Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton. In a letter the would-be assassin never mailed, investigators found the source of his motivation.

Writing to then eighteen year-old Yale student, actress Jodie Foster, he stated, “I will admit to you that the reason I am going ahead with this attempt now is because I just cannot wait longer to impress you.”

In both instances, and in several other high-profile assassination attempts since, including the tragic shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, pundits and popular media have attempted to assign political motive to the shooter. Reality has proven otherwise. Although some degree of mental illness is usually found with those who attempt to kill celebrities, a landmark study commissioned by the Secret Service analyzing would-be assassin motivation concluded that most felt invisible to society. In their evil act, they sought fame or notoriety as a means to gaining the significance they so desperately craved. And even when the individual may have initially framed their motive in political language, more times than not, they were basically murderers in search of a cause.

For Chapman, Hinckley and Giffords’ attacker, Jared Lee Loughner, their pursuit of filling their “God-shaped vacuum” led to them using deadly force in order to worship and achieve their idol or god of fame.

But are we ultimately any more enlightened or wise to the sin and danger than these individuals?

Idol worship comes in a variety of forms. From beauty to power to money and achievement, every one of us is guilty to some degree of worshipping something short of God. We’re all idolaters in some form or fashion, and this robs us of a deep and fulfilling relationship with our Maker and Savior.

What idols have you struggled with in your life? What are you struggling with today?

Luigi Bellavite, a member of the Church of Satan in Colorado, thinks police have wrongfully charged suspected perpetrators with theft after his “Vote for Satan” sign was stolen from outside his home.

Bellavite’s sign was hanging next to an American flag in his yard before it was taken in an act that the Satanist considers a hate crime. Although local police responded to the theft at Bellavite’s Mountain View home, the man explained why he felt another charge should have been filed.

“If it was the Star of David, absolutely it would be a hate crime,” he said in a KMGH-TV news report. “There are such double standards that some religions and some ideas are protected and others are not. That’s why I’m (talking to the media).”

However, some of Bellavite’s neighbors also spoke to the media about some of the decorations in the yard belonging to him and his wife Angie, who also belongs to the Church of Satan. Although the couple lost their “Vote for Satan” sign, their yard still features an inverted cross, fake spiders and skulls and mannequins who are dressed up as witches and devils.

The display has made some neighbors weary of the Bellavites, including Kathy Vallejos, who told KMGH that she crosses the street instead of walking directly past their yard.

“It depends on the kind of feeling that you have in you,” Vallejos said.

While Bellevite said he doesn’t care about the cost of the sign, he does believe that damaging his property was a hateful act.

“It only cost $20,” he said. “I don’t care about that. I care about somebody coming with a knife, on my front porch, and deliberately damaging what’s mine.”

Luigi Bellavite, a member of the Church of Satan in Colorado, thinks police have wrongfully charged suspected perpetrators with theft after his “Vote for Satan” sign was stolen from outside his home.

“I worry about them,” the neighbor said. “And I worry about us as neighbors.”

Despite the name, the Church of Satan, founded in the 1960s, refutes any belief in the devil or supernatural entities; its ethos is carnal self-indulgence.

Baby dies, toddler hospitalized after being left in cars in Indiana.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. (Psalm 34:7)

We cannot see the angels, but it is enough that they can see us. There is one great Angel of the Covenant, whom not having seen we love, and His eye is always upon us both day and night. He has a host of holy ones under Him, and He causes these to be watchers over His saints and to guard them from all ill. If devils do us mischief, shining ones do us service.

Note that the Lord of angels does not come and go and pay us transient visits, but He and His armies encamp around us. The headquarters of the army of salvation is where those live whose trust is in the living God. This camp surrounds the faithful so that they cannot be attacked from any quarter unless the adversary can break through the entrenchments of the Lord of angels. We have a fixed protection, a permanent watch. Sentineled by the messengers of God, we shall not be surprised by sudden assaults nor swallowed up by overwhelming forces. Deliverance is promised in this verse–deliverance by the great Captain of our salvation, and that deliverance we shall obtain again and again until our warfare is accomplished and we exchange the field of conflict for the home of rest.