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A Permanent Resolution for 2012 and Beyond

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she

Did Hitchens call upon Christ with his dying breath?

Did Hitchens call upon Christ with his dying breath? By Mitiku Adisu Perhaps you are one of those who've never heard of Christopher Hitchens. Take heart; you are not alone. Hitchens is known only to a tiny band of atheists unlike atheists of the previous generation. The older folk were content to admit [when asked] that they are atheists and that they did not even mind you teaching your kids some religious morals. Not so with their successors who did not mince words about wanting to convert you to un-belief in God. If you have been complaining about Ethiopian atheists of the 1970s you have not seen the half of the New Atheists. The Ethiopian atheist will blast you in public on account of religion but never misses to attend Bahta Mariam or the annual feast of Qulubbi Gabriel. Well, Hitchens was a brilliant Anglo-American essayist/journalist who gained notoriety for wanting to rid the world of faith in God! He spent his life talking about God and why God is bad for you and m

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;  the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not

Megachurch's Future

Megachurch's Future ATLANTA ( AP ) — When Bishop Eddie Long was accused of sexual misconduct by former church members, his congregation rallied around him and his wife stood by his side. About a year later, the Atlanta megachurch pastor is headed for divorce and stepping away from the pulpit. Long announced Sunday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church that he needed a break from preaching to focus on his family. The hiatus leaves New Birth, which once boasted 25,000 members, at a crossroads, its reputation battered and membership dwindling. Their pasts inextricably linked for nearly a generation, both Long and his church face an uncertain future. "A church is bigger than its pastor," said Goldie Taylor, who has attended New Birth in the past. "For too long, the New Birth family has acted as if it is smaller than its pastor. Its challenge going forward will be its ability to flip that and become a church without walls again." For many members, Long has been the

God Is Faithful

Everywhere we look there seems to be some story of infidelity these days, of broken promises and breach of trust. There are plenty of instances where disloyalty is even condoned. The saddest of all is the fact that the church is not immune to all this. At such times there is no one to turn to than to the One True God who is forever faithful and known throughout the ages for keeping his word? Ed. Here is a trustworthy saying: If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, For he cannot disown himself ... God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our

Look At Me Now!

Look At Me Now! I am “the” star I can spin, like dust in the air . . . I am the leaf, rotten dump in the mud I am the forgotten son, I am that unwanted child Look at me now! I am the sea that swallows your land I am your handicap; I am your shortest hand I am the king who sits above it all I am the slave who waits for the crumbs to fall I am the rich, with riches untold I am the poor, have hunger as a friend I am the righteous, with clean feet and clean hand I am the sinner, covered with splattered blood Look at me now! I am the sunshine, I am the rain I am the pleasure, I am the pain I am the joy, I am covered with smiles I am the sorrow; I am your midnight tears I am your dancing feet; I am your signature beat I am your fear; I am your bloody sweat I am you, I am me I am us, I am he I am them, I am she But don’t look at me now , in me you find no good I am not me, with Christ I am dead Look at me through the blood Look at me through Christ,

Signs of the Times

Signs of the Times [L] Americans at Target on Black Friday: Waiting for Goods; [R] Russians at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior: Waiting for God?

Give Thanks

Now on his way to Jerusalem , Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee .   As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy   met him. They stood at a distance   and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said,   “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”   And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.   He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked,   “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?   Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him,   “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” [Luke 17: 11-17]             “Praise be to you, O  LORD, God of our father Israel , from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O  LORD,   is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and eart

The Colonel and Hell

The Colonel and Hell And so the Libyan leader Gaddafi died in the manner he lived. Violently. Every one seemed to be in agreement that Gaddafi deserved to die. There were jubilant street scenes even as the cellphone-video of his bloodied body went viral. Some wished he would go straight to hell. These are thinking people hailing as far north as North America and Europe . These are the same crowd who more than likely would fight to abolish capital punishment or to uphold due process or rubbish off-hand the existence of Hell and critique the Bible mercilessly for teaching such a "gory and outmoded" doctrine. It now appears there are exceptions to the rule. It is interesting how times like this often lay bare our true intentions, our true nature and the values we thought we've managed to hide. So what do we think of hell? Or more appropriately, what does the Bible teach on the subject? Here is a piece by Tim Keller that, we hope, could make the skeptic and the uninfo

GOD OF THE HOMELESS

GOD OF THE HOMELESS photo credit: ifhomeless.org GOD SAID HE IS SLEEPING ON THE STREETS TONIGHT WITH THE HOMELESS GOD said  I should remind people to wash the blankets first before they give them to the homeless, so that it is given with a good heart.  GOD said if you have spare sleeping bags, sleeping bags are better and a small pillow.  GOD said some of them are hungry.  If you have a flask, put a hot drink in it, HE would appreciate it.  GOD said HE is sleeping out on the streets with the homeless.  GOD said if you have any old warm jumpers and spare woolly socks, bring them with you, it's cold!  GOD said don't take the food or clothes to the shelters, they do not need them.  GOD said HE will protect you, come in twos if you are afraid, the people who need it are underneath the railway arches and in the doorways of buildings in the cities and on the streets. I wrote this song in 1994 after giving MY life to Jesus.  In 1983 I was homeless for

Steve Jobs on Death

credit: the verge “Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”   [Steve Jobs' Commencement Speech at Stanford, 12 June 2005.] ---------------------------------------------------- There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die … He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. [Ecclesiastes 3:1-2,11] Since the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity

Word of Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make oura joy complete. This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from allb sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our

SIN

By Mitiku Adisu Emergence of a set of problems often point to a deeper problem. There was, for example, a debt ceiling confrontation that went on for weeks between US political parties and the President. Each knew what needed to be done to resolve the problem but none were prepared to do the right thing. Instead each blamed and maligned the other side - and history - to get a sizable segment of the public behind them. Each side engaged in a deadly fight for what is right in their own eyes. It is all about self-interest (pride, greed, hate-mongering) couched in ever creative patriotic, legal, religious, and refined phrases. We bet you know what that is called? S-I-N. SIN. And just last week there were riots and looting in Britain where children as young as ten were observed taking part. With economic downturn and the Cameron government slashing funding to social services, it is not surprising that poor neighborhoods are relatively hit hard and hence the locus of the incident. Wha

Men and Women of London

GOD IS HOLY Source: Revival Addresses by R.A. Torrey, 1856-1928  God is holy. How the Bible in every page brings that out! How it labors with all its types, sacrifices, ceremonies, explicit teaching, to impress upon men and women that God is holy. Take the supreme expression of it in I John i. 5, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” In the Scripture lesson tonight I read a passage from Isaiah in which he gives us a bit of his own biography. He was, perhaps, the best man of his time, but when he got one glimpse of God in His holiness, when he saw even the seraphim (the burning ones, glowing in their own holiness) covering their faces and their feet in the presence of the infinitely Holy Jehovah, he was overwhelmed, and cried, “Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.” Men and women of London, if there should burst upon this audience to-night a re

ADOPTED HANA FOUND DEAD

credit: hsinvisiblechildren.org Adopted girl's death prompts neglect investigation in Sedro Woolley | Source: nwcn.com SEDRO WOOLLEY, Wash. – An investigation into possible neglect is under way after an adopted 13-year-old girl died at a home in Skagit County. Hana Grace Williams, who was adopted from Ethiopia in 2008, was found dead on May 12 in the yard of her home. The Skagit County Medical Examiner’s Office said she died of hypothermia. A source close to the investigation said Hana was 30 pounds lighter than when she arrived from Ethiopia. The Washington state Department of Social and Health Services says all eight of her siblings have been removed from the home. The prosecutor’s office said it is still waiting for more information before making a decision on charges. Hana’s parents could not be reached for comment Sunday. The END. Requiem Not under foreign skies Nor under foreign wings protected - I shared all this with my own people There, where mi

BEING THE PEOPLE OF GOD

Being the People of God Interview with Dr. Girma Bekele - Final [Part  1 & 2 ] You raise liberation theology. Perhaps you had in mind the argument for God’s “preferential treatment for the poor.” The same God who dealt compassionately with Hagar, however, was also compassionate to Abram. Should we not be wary of overemphasizing God’s charity to those on the margins and not also to those at the center blighted by sin no less? Not just structural sin and liberation but also personal sin and conversion? Don’t you see how theologians often are found romanticizing the poor. God’s mission is intrinsic to his being as a compassionate God and the God of the god-forsaken. The Bible declares: “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strang