Archive for December, 2004


Something to Watch for

December 30, 2004

I make a prediction for the first week in the New Year 2005. One of our most vitriolic arguments around the water-cooler will surround Jan Egland’s assertion that America is “stingy” when it comes to Foreign Aid. Even the New York Times, in this article, completely agrees with Egland.

Numbers and percentages will be thrown around by pundits and statisticians, like purchase orders at the last hour of Wall Street’s buying day. But will they hit at the heart of the Water Cooler editorials? The real issue is the continuing decay of our ethical and moral consensus in America. We just don’t agree on what is right and wrong any more. NBC News, with Brian Williams last night, called America’s paltry $35M pledge a “moral failure”. A moral failure? This from the network that apologizes that the “following scenes of carnage from the Tsanami will be hard to watch” but shows them anyway? Who can say how moral or ethical our response is, when few in this country accept an absolute moral standard?

It would be like someone claiming that a person’s sexual preferences and exploits are no one else’s business and then screaming because someone keyed their car. What makes one set of actions morally without scrutiny and the other a platform for outrage?

In a recent video, Osama laughed at America for sending aid to countries with Muslim majorities, claiming that they will simply spend the money to destroy America and Israel. Some were outraged and claimed we should stop sending any money to Islamic countries. Why? Why should we stop doing what is right because a terrorist hunkered down in a cave somewhere is laughing?

Have fun at the water cooler with this one.


How did they grow?

December 30, 2004

Some cults have a long shelf-life, but sometimes you wonder how they survived a week in existence. I have no other comments to make on this news story from Reuters. I just can’t figure out how and why they stayed together for so long. Good food?

The super-reclusive, 280-person German cult Villa Baviera, holed up in Chile since 1961 and worshipping of former army nurse Paul Schaefer (now age 81, with whereabouts unknown), broke into the public eye in a November Reuters dispatch describing how most members have finally, after four decades, come to realize that they were mistaken in their belief that Schaefer is God’s messenger on Earth. The cult lived frozen in time, with few modern conveniences, wearing clothing from the 1930s, and in total obedience to Schaefer, who had imposed many idiosyncratic policies, including an ironclad no-intimacy rule.


No Dead Animals

December 29, 2004

This is an interesting article pulled out of the devastation of the Tsunami. It seems that in Sri Lanka, there are no massive quantities of dead animals, not even small ones like rabbits. I guess we can conclude that all the animals in the world today are ancestors of those who survived THE FLOOD and are genetically disposed to sense when another water grave is coming. Either that, or the animal kingdom has a Tsunami warning system that we could emulate.


Tsunami Update

December 28, 2004

This just in from our national headquarters about the relief efforts in Asia and more about our churches and missionaries there:

The largest earthquake to hit anywhere in the world in 40 years shook the earth from the depths of the Indian Ocean on Christmas Day. The 9.0 tremor produced an outward “ripple effect” of tsunamis that reached India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Sumatra, and Thailand, killing more than 40,000 people and leaving more than a million homeless.

There are currently no reports of Alliance workers or churches being directly affected by the devastating tidal waves. However, Dalat International School in Penang, Malaysia, lost its seawall and received some damage to campus buildings that are near the beach. Because of the holidays, school was not in session, so C&MA missionary children were not at Dalat. Malaysia sustained less damage than other countries because it lies east of Sumatra and was protected by the larger island.

Ironically, CAMA Services recently sent David and Judy Phillips to work with earthquake victims in Nabire, West Papua, Indonesia, which is about 1,000 miles from area of Indonesia affected by the tsunami. The Phillips are providing food, construction aid, and medical care to many Alliance and non-Alliance people affected by the earthquake that struck there in late November.

Alliance mission leaders are monitoring the disaster and plan to partner with other Christian relief agencies to assist victims of the tragedy. To contribute to this effort, send funds to CAMA Services at P. O. Box 35000, Colorado Springs, CO 80935-3500.


As If We Were There with Them

December 24, 2004

The Bible says we are to pray for those who are being persecuted as if we are there with them. Michele Malkin presents the worst of what is being done to believers around the world. Read it and pray. Especially at Christmas.


Christmas book list

December 23, 2004

Chuck Colson has listed his Christmas Book list. Knowing the complexity of Chuck’s mind, this is not a list of feather-light reading, but something much more substantial.


A Trend?

December 23, 2004

Does seeing something mentioned twice designate it as a trend? In this case, I think so. Here is another article that gets down to the heart of Christmas: Is it really for telling everyone about being nice to one another, especially as we return their electric cheese straightener they so thoughtfully bought for us?

T. M. Moore is not happy about how we as believers are presenting Jesus. Here is one of his hardest-edged observations for us preachers:

But most of all I’m troubled by the complicity of today’s preachers in this vast deception, as they serve up Christmas sermons that reinforce false ideas about Jesus and Christmas and what His coming means for the world. Surely there is more to the message of Christmas than a seasonal dose of peace and good will, expressed in a veritable shark feed of gifts and giving?

Read the whole article here.

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