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Psalm 69:1-3 (HCSB)
1 Save me, God, for the water has risen to my neck. 2  I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing; I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me.

Robin-Williams

Robin-Williams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last Monday night, the tragic announcement of actor and comedian Robin Williams’ death, apparently by suicide, shocked many of us. It was known that he struggled with severe depression, but for many of us the only encounters we have had with Robin Williams was via his portrayal of a character we have grown to love; Aladdin’s Genie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Peter Pan, or in his more serious roles as Patch Adams, or English teacher John Keating in “Dead Poets Society“, and psychologist Sean Maquire in “Goodwill Hunting“. For most of us this is the only thing we know about Robin Williams. We were not made aware of all his private struggles only those which became public knowledge. We were not invited into his everyday life and permitted only a glimpse into who Robin Williams was a a whole man.

For most of us, celebrities like Robin Williams are one-dimensional people, summed up by the quality they’re best known for such as Williams’ zany humor. It can be hard to understand that a man who made so many others laugh could struggle with the disease of depression. But the truth is that no one is a one-dimensional person. We all have areas of beauty and of darkness in our life. The strongest of us have weaknesses, the “weakest” of us have strengths; the happiest of us can be sad, the saddest can be happy, the healthiest, sick, and the sick, healthy. All of us, if we care to admit it, have areas of darkness we hide away from public view. Many of us put on a happy face to the world even though we might be struggling with our own internal demons. When we come to the place where all hope is lost, and we can not see the light at the end of the tunnel, where do we find hope for our hopelessness? Ironically one of the treatments for depression is laughter.

Life can throw us some pretty tough curve-balls, and heap upon us some really hard challenges, if all we have to rely on is our own intestinal fortitude we can quickly become spent and exhausted from fighting life’s bitter battles. Some may seek relief through escapism, running away from the problems of life. Some may chose to mask the pain through medication or alcohol abuse. Others knowing they are weak in themselves will seek out the help and advice of others, whether they are friends, relatives or professionals. Still others may simply try to ignore the problem hoping that by denying a problem exists it will somehow disappear. When the burdens get so bad, and there seems to be no end to the suffering, whether real or imagined, some look for a way for the bitterness to end. For some this end comes about by their own hand. This is tragic on many levels, and leaves behind a great deal of hurt and pain, along with questions and doubts by survivors who wondered what more they could have done to reach out and help the troubled soul.

Except for the grace of God I too could find myself facing the same demons Robin Williams faced last Monday when he finally had had enough of the pain and hopelessness he was feeling. He may have even cried out to God for help and thought that God was so far removed that he either didn’t care or would not answer. Let me assure you friends that God really does care about every detail of your life. He cared enough to even sacrifice the life of his own son in order to remove the barrier that existed between us and God because of our sinful life choices. He is reaching out a hand of help and comfort to anyone who is willing to grab hold of it and trust God to lift them up out of the miry clay and the pit of despair and set their feet upon a solid rock of hope. (Psalms 40:2).

There is no problem we face that God has not made a way for us to deal with it and to overcome it. He promises to keep us and be with us through every circumstances of life. The problem is we often do not seek God before a calamity besets us, so when we find ourselves in the midst of the crisis we are so far removed from God’s comfort we can not sense his presence when it is needed the most. God’s desire is to not see anyone perish but that all would find salvation and abundant life through his son Jesus. I beg you therefore to seek a relationship with the giver of life before you come to a place where you are seeking to take your own life. It is not too late to find that peace that passes all understanding. You too can find hope when you feel hopeless, comfort when you are comfortless, and joy when you are sorrowful.

No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

 

GOD AND CAESAR Being a Good Citizen


Originally posted on The Patriot Brotherhood From Sea to Shining Sea:

Thomas Jefferson concerning the 1st Amendment Religious Freedom (Click to enlarge)

Thomas Jefferson concerning the 1st Amendment Religious Freedom (Click to enlarge)

By religious freedom, or soul liberty, is meant the natural and inalienable right of every soul to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and to be unmolested in the exercise of that right, so long, at least, as he does not infringe upon the rights of others; that religion is, and must be, a voluntary service; that only such service is acceptable to God; and, hence, that no earthly power, whether civil or ecclesiastical, has any right to compel conformity to any creed or to any species of worship, or to tax a man for its support.

This principle gives to “Caesar” “the things that are Caesar’s,” but it denies to Caesar “the things, that are God’s.” It does not make it a matter of indifference what a man believes or…

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Hall of Famers


Hebrews 11:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  
33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–
38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,
40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

 

 

English: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Mu...

English: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Scan of the original photograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.

Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.

Thomas, pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York Sunday, and all paid special tribute to their families before an adoring crowd of nearly 50,000.

“I’m speechless. Thanks for having me in your club,” Thomas said, getting emotional as he remembered his late father. “Frank Sr., I know you’re watching. Without you, I know 100 per cent I wouldn’t be here in Cooperstown today. You always preached to me, ‘You can be someone special if you really work at it.’ I took that to heart, Pop.”

Ever the diplomat as a manager, Torre somehow managed to assuage the most demanding of owners in George Steinbrenner, maintaining his coolness amid all the Bronx craziness while keeping all those egos in check after taking over in 1996. The result: 10 division titles, six AL pennants and four World Series triumphs in 12 years as he helped restore the luster to baseball’s most successful franchise and resurrected his own career after three firings.

“Baseball is a game of life. It’s not perfect, but it feels like it is,” said the 74-year-old Torre, who apologized afterward for forgetting to include the Steinbrenner family in his speech. “That’s the magic of it. We are responsible for giving it the respect it deserves. Our sport is part of the American soul, and it’s ours to borrow — just for a while.”

“If all of us who love baseball and are doing our jobs, then those who get the game from us will be as proud to be a part of it as we were. And we are. This game is a gift, and I am humbled, very humbled, to accept its greatest honor.”

It is a wonderful feeling to be honored for your life’s work, or in this case play since baseball is after all a game. Nonetheless baseball is as American as apple pie so the saying goes.  Joe Torre in his acceptance speech expressed a deep appreciation for the game and humbly accepted the honor of being included among the elites of the game.

Being accepted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is an honor reserved for very few of the many who have played the game before. Those who are honored in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown have shown and above average talent for the game. They have demonstrated spectacular performance on the ball field and from this day forward shall be enshrined forever among the greats of the game.

As Joe Torre expressed in his remarks it gave him a sense of pride to pass on the game to the next generation and give them encouragement and a love of the game. He took his honor to heart.

Being an example for others, and offering encouragement for those who come to the game after us is certainly something that should be remembered and having a Hall of Fame to honor these great men is certainly right.

In our Christian walk we too have a record of the Hall of Famer’s found in Hebrews chapter 11. These are those who although they had obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, because God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. The list is long of all those who are listed in God’s great Hall of Fame including David, Moses, Samson, Elijah, Joshua, Rahab, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Esau. And let us not forget Joseph, Noah and Abel. The list is too long to include everyone here but you can visit God’s Hall of Fame found in the pages of scripture.

In order to walk among baseball’s finest you must take a trip to Cooperstown and visit the Hall of Fame, but to walk among the biblical elite on God’s Wall of fame you simply have to turn to scripture.

Like Joe Torre emoted, these men, who have played the game already, have left a legacy for others to follow. They have set an example of what can be accomplished when you are fully dedicated to the game of baseball. So too have the heroes of our faith set forth an example for others to follow. Let us follow their examples and get in the game, perhaps we too will one day find ourselves in the hall of fame.

Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

When Faced With The Choice, Who Would We Choose?


Allen Scott:

When the crowd is agitated, and corralled by political pandering and ideological propaganda, they unite in one voice to enslave themselves for a mere sense of self-gratification. If left to mob rule, the mob will always cry out for the release of the rebel rouser and the imprisonment of the peacemaker. They will even go so far as to elect and reelect a community organizer as their leader.

Apparently history teaches that the wielder of the sword generates the greatest respect, while the minister of peace is silenced.

Originally posted on STAND UP :

"Give us Barabbas!" (from The Bible ...

“Give us Barabbas!” (from The Bible and its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, 1910). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The choice was offered before to an oppressed people. A people who were governed against their will and had no say in their Earthly destiny.

In a world of social materialism, political materialism, and political ideologues who seek no real justice for the individual, only social and political control for the purpose of building a ‘Tower of Babel’  world…  a world of equality absent liberty. The extremes of which are found in Cuba, Former Soviet Union, and North Korea .

Who would we choose? Jesus or Barabbas?

History is filled with event after event where, when the choice was offered, the world chose Barabbas.

When it comes to social action and Materialism, the world will always cry out for Barabbas…a man of action and violence, a man of revenge, a warrior. The…

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Genesis 7:11-12 (NIV)
11  In the six hundredth year of Noah‘s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month–on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.12  And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty 
nights. 

The public’s view that science and religion can’t work in collaboration is a misconception that stunts progress, according to a new survey of more than 10,000 Americans, scientists and evangelical Protestants. The study by Rice University also found that scientists and the public are surprisingly similar in their religious practices. The study found that nearly 50% of evangelicals believe that science and religion can work together and support one another. That contrasts with the fact that only 38% of Americans feel that science and religions can work in collaboration. This is not surprising because of the way science-religion relationships are portrayed in the news media. Most of what is seen in the news are stories about these two groups being at odds with each other. The news media likes to emphasize the controversial issues like teaching creationism in schools. Actual findings from the Rice study shows:

 

  • Nearly 60 percent of evangelical Protestants and 38 percent of all surveyed believe “scientists should be open to considering miracles in their theories or explanations.”
  •  27 percent of Americans feel that science and religion are in conflict.
  • Of those who feel science and religion are in conflict, 52 percent sided with religion.
  • 48 percent of evangelicals believe that science and religion can work in collaboration.
  • 22 percent of scientists think most religious people are hostile to science.
  • Nearly 20 percent of the general population think religious people are hostile to science.
  • Nearly 22 percent of the general population think scientists are hostile to religion.
  • Nearly 36 percent of scientists have no doubt about God’s existence.

So it really comes as no surprise when a story about science matches up pretty well with religious teachings found in the bible. That is the case with the latest scientific discovery of vast oceans of water found beneath the earths surface.

Geophysicists say they have discovered an immense water reservoir deep below the Earth’s surface—a find which Christian scientists say could be an affirmation of a verse in the biblical Great Flood account.

On Thursday, researchers with Northwestern University and the University of New Mexico announced the discovery of a vast underground ocean several miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Though the scientists cannot immediately verify their claims, they remain confident about their conclusions.

Water is part of Earth’s very definition as a planet. Clouds of water fill its atmosphere, oceans cover most of its surface, and groundwater is found everywhere underground. For the last century, geologists have traced the influence of water deeper and deeper into Earth’s interior. During the last year, whole oceans worth of water have been found in the mantle, hundreds of kilometers below the crust. And a paper in today’s issue of Science traces water’s influence all the way down to an important boundary inside the Earth, the top of the lower mantle.

“Northwestern geophysicist Steve Jacobsen and University of New Mexico seismologist Brandon Schmandt have found deep pockets of magma located about 400 miles beneath North America, a likely signature of the presence of water at these depths,” explains a press release from Northwestern University.

If the scientists’ calculations are correct, the amount of water beneath the Earth’s surface could dwarf the amount of water in our planet’s surface oceans.

“If just one percent of the weight of mantle rock in the transition zone is H2O, that would be equal to nearly three times the amount of water in our oceans,” the press release states.

The results of the study will help scientists understand Earth’s water cycle, and how plate tectonics moves water between the surface of the planet and interior reservoirs, researchers say.

The Earth’s mantle is the hot, rocky layer between the planet’s core and crust. Scientists have long suspected that the mantle’s so-called transition zone, which sits between the upper and lower mantle layers 255 to 410 miles (410 to 660 kilometers) below Earth’s surface, could contain water trapped in rare minerals. However, direct evidence for this water has lacked, until now.

To see if the transition zone really is a deep reservoir for water, researchers conducted experiments on water-rich ringwoodite, analyzed seismic waves traveling through the mantle beneath the United States, and studied numerical models. They discovered that downward-flowing mantle material is melting as it crosses the boundary between the transition zone and the lower mantle layer.

“If we are seeing this melting, then there has to be this water in the transition zone,” said Brandon Schmandt, a seismologist at the University of New Mexico and co-author of the new study published today (June 12) in the journal Science. “The transition zone can hold a lot of water, and could potentially have the same amount of H2O [water] as all the world’s oceans.” (Melting is a way of getting rid of water, which is unstable under conditions in Earth’s lower mantle, the researchers said.)

A complete explanation of the testing process and what laboratory experiments have produced can be found here

According to Genesis 7:11, “the fountains of the great deep” were broken during the Great Flood, leading some Christians to believe that the underground ocean discovery sheds light on the biblical account. Brian Thomas, science writer for the Institute for Creation Research, told Christian News Network that the findings could potentially be related to the scriptural reference.

“It is of course possible that water found below Earth’s crust could be what remains from the waters ‘of the great deep’ that burst as fountains to Earth’s surface to initiate Noah’s year-long Flood according to Genesis 7:11,” Thomas said. “I would not refer to this news as a ‘significant verification’ of the Genesis Flood since some may suggest other explanations for the water, but it is consistent with Scripture’s general reference to waters deep beneath the earth.”

However, Thomas added, the very existence of water on Earth presents a problem for secular scientists.

“Secularists faced a tough enough challenge in trying to explain how Earth’s ocean waters came from rock,” he noted. “They imagine hydrated minerals from space rocks collided to form Earth. But the heat from those collisions would have pushed out the water. Now they have to explain this newly discovered deep water, too.”

The biblical account, Thomas continued, is much more consistent with the scientific evidence, since the Bible says God initially created the world as a watery sphere.

“Unlike secular thinkers,” he stated, “biblical scientists do not arbitrarily discount miracles, being open to the possibility that God built Earth with water like He said.”

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