Archive for September, 2004

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Proud of this Soldier

September 30, 2004

At times, a dad just has to brag. A few weeks ago, my son (a member of the medical unit attached to the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, NC) let us know that he was going to be taking a course in the bush for one of his medical badges. I didn’t think much of it, until I read this from the Fayetteville Observer. I was honored to call him my son. Forgive my proud intrusion.

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Not right but….you have thought about it

September 27, 2004

There are some things we think about doing and just don’t do them. Sometimes it is because our thoughts are illegal, ill-advised or just not culturally acceptable. Read here what one principal did to a student whose pants were so low they exposed his boxers. I admit…I was tempted a few times. Resist the dark side. Decide which side is the dark side.

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Almost there is not there…Part One

September 27, 2004

During one of my cognitive-behavioral therapy classes (for some reason they were always slated at 8 a.m.), I learned that Death was just another stage in life. Perhaps you think this idea is a hackneyed culturally-derived idea, but in the early 70s it was radical. The proponent of this theory is the recently deceased Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Now I learn that this woman I thought was dead is not dead after all. More about that in a moment.

She had become a medical doctor and was fascinated with caring for the dying…especially those who had been neglected by family for one reason or another. In her ministrations, she noticed that the patients fell into a pattern during the process of dying. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance came to be the five stages of dying and taught in every Counseling school, mine included.

We could debate forever whether these stages are real, especially as they relate to those who have a personal faith relationship with God. But one thing is for sure: She couldn’t leave well enough alone. The next 20 years of her life she entered into one bizarre theory after another. For instance, she declared that there was no such thing as death, and sought to prove it by having real relationships with people who were supposed to have died. Of course, if there is no death, she’s not dead. Perhaps she now lives in a garage in Buffalo. I’m not sure what that would qualify her as. Her eccentric exploits and myopic mistakes are chronicled well in this article.

I see this often. People who start with a truth – or a close-to-truth theory – who do not know the One who is True, and therefore finish way off the mark. Later, I will discuss some well-known writers who started near the straight line and jagged off into hither regions. There is usually a lot of muck in hither regions. Just ask any opponent of the Oakland Raiders when the fans get angry.

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How to Give a Proper Apology

September 22, 2004

To those for whom an apology may need to be given in the future (and is there anyone to whom that statement doesn’t apply?), let me give you two inviolable rules in how to do it .

First, don’t make the person feel worse because you have apologized to them. It wouldn’t be good to say, “I apologize for hating your guts.” This leaves the person wondering what horrible thing they have done or said. Our intention in apologizing to someone should not be a veiled attempt to get even.

Second, don’t apologize in such a way that they are now responsible for what you did wrong. Here’s what I mean: “I’m sorry if you’re offended by what I said.” All that means when you reduce the rhetoric is that I didn’t do anything wrong but I hate the fact that you’re so touchy. Equally wrong is this statement: “If I’ve hurt you in any way, please forgive me.” This sounds so much more noble and encased in humility, but reduce this down and it really says, “What’s bugging you?”

Read this and ask yourself if “maybe Jimmy Swaggart could learn some of these lessons”.

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Look at the bill again

September 22, 2004

Have you noticed that your grocery bill is climbing higher faster? The members of our team all agree they are paying more and we were griping about it the other day. Now, the Sacramento Bee has a revealing look that just proves you can’t push a price increase past me without me noticing. Of course, I notice when someone (who shall remain nameless, but still functions as my daughter) rearranges my quarters on my desk. Yes, I’m so tight I could be a string on a guitar.

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Freud vs. C.S. Lewis

September 22, 2004

In case you missed this series back in June, PBS is rebroadcasting their simulated debates between Atheist/humanist Sigmund Freud and Theist/Christian C.S. Lewis. In these debates, they deal with the ultimate questions of life, God and existence. For those who like this sort of thing, as I really do, this is the ultimate broadcast. Go here for Mark Earley’s assessment of what you will see. The broadcast is on tonight by the way.

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The Mission Will Go On

September 22, 2004

China was notorious in the sixties and seventies for throwing prominent Christians into jail…and many times murdering them once they were incarcerated. Yet, it did not stop the Church in that country from growing. The estimates range from there now being 40 – 80 million believers in that country.

But not all persecution has ended. Richard Wurmbrand, himself imprisoned by the Communists in Romania for his faith, writes about a situation you can help with. Already the letters from around the world have helped these chinese brothers and sisters. Will you read this article and see what you can do in prayer and in sending a letter?

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Muslims the main perpetuators of Terrorism?

September 20, 2004

Now the question may seem obvious, but there is a startling voice giving the answer. An editor for Al-Arabiyah newspaper is the one who claims this is true. In a revealing article by Hal Lindsey, we see that not all Muslims are happy about what is taking place around the world.

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Barbers and God

September 17, 2004

In deference to my friend Don and his many fine haircuts, I want to recommend a great link from today’s Blogosphere. Have you wondered at people who say, “How can God exist and allow such horrible atrocities and violence in this world?” An hassidic Jew has written one of the best answers I can imagine in a story about a barber.

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Christian musicians with Secular Labels -Rick

September 15, 2004

I am the kind of person who listens to lyrics at least as much as accompaniment. For some time now I have enjoyed discovering bands and song writers who appear to be Christian (or who at least have a Christian world view) based on their lyrics. In fact my favorite bands arem’t Christian bands, but bands whose members are christians. I have researched a few of them.

Too many have the same story. They formed the band to give glory to God with modern Rock. Then, the church rejected their music and as a result they rejected the church, but not God (which, of course, is hard to do). Others simply don’t want to be pegged down to only Christian audiences. A secular label opens their message to unbelieving audiences.

I particularly like U2, whose spiritual journey is a bit more known than most. Other artists of this type are Jimi Hendrix and Cher….okay not really. Recently I started listening to Collective Soul again. In “Precious Declarartion” he says salvation has discovered him. And in “The World I Know” sounds like a description of someine coming to faith in God. You can find lyrics at a number of different websites like www.lyricsfreak.com .

I would be curious to here what you all think of the bands/songs I mentioned(other than Jimi Hendix and Cher) and any others you have found.

Rick Gall

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