Monday, August 31, 2009
Disney "creates" the next teen star
The Perfect Body
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The video chronicles evangelical couple T.K. and Deidrea Laux as they give birth to their son, Thomas, who is diagnosed with Trisomy 13. The Laux's knew this early on in the pregnancy but chose to bring Thomas to full-term. He lived five days after his birth.
View the video here, and read Deidrea's diary here.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I've been thinking recently about something television star Kelsey Grammer said. It's not because I saw a rerun of Cheers. Unfortunately, the context is tragic. Grammer has me thinking about well intentioned people who end up "packing unforgiveness." Where deep wounds are concerned, there are those who try and do what they believe faith requires. Yet, they end up hurting all the more.
Before I write anything more, I want to go on record saying that I have prayed for Kelsey Grammer. I have three lovely sisters and two beautiful daughters, and I simply cannot imagine what he has gone through.
To understand why Grammer is on my mind, you need to know something of the awful tragedies he has endured. When Grammer was only 13 years old, his father was murdered. A shark killed his twin brothers while they were scuba diving. But the most devastating loss for Grammer may have been the murder of his sister, Karen.
Read the full article here.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Pregnant mothers the world over can often be found talking or singing to their babies in the womb. But as tender as those moments may be, is anyone besides Mom and Dad actually remembering them? New research says yes.
A team of medical researchers in the Netherlands combined sonogram technology with sound and vibration stimulation to discover that 30-week-old fetuses demonstrate short-term memory. By 34 weeks, these babies in utero are able to store and retrieve that information up to four weeks later, according to the study published in the medical journal Child Development.
This research follows on the heels of similar studies conducted to determine if a fetus can remember its mother’s voice. One such study had mothers read Dr. Seuss’ famous Cat in the Hat twice a day to their babies six weeks before birth.
Three days after birth, scientists were able to determine that not only did the babies prefer the sound of their own mother’s voice, they also preferred the sound of the story they had heard in utero to a new story.
Read the full article here.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
However, reports, along with pictures have appeared in recent weeks on the Internet showing a relapse by Hamilton early this year. When the news came out Hamilton addressed it with grace and humility. I have intended to write a post about this issue and his repentance, but tonight I found an article by Ted Kluck in Christianity Today that summarizes my thoughts. It's a quick read and quite worth the time.
Read the article here.
For years, scientists and celebrities supporting embryo-destructive stem cell research have used two arguments. First-blind to the destruction of the embryo itself-they argue embryonic stem cell research will save lives. Second, they maintain that embryos leftover from fertility treatments will otherwise be wasted.
Now, one stem-cell expert is using these same arguments to promote harvesting organs from aborted fetuses.
Speaking at a conference in March, Oxford University stem-cell expert Sir Richard Gardner commented that he was surprised the possibility had not been considered, and that experiments in mice have shown that fetal kidneys grow extremely quickly when transplanted to adult animals.
Read the full article here.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
If you question Driscoll's decision to do so, make sure you read or listen to the message first.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
As you do, I’d like you to multi-task and also look at this picture. Does anyone know who this guy is?
He is the fastest man on earth – Usain Bolt from Jamaica. Just this week he set a new record by running the 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. I’m not sure I could run it in 9.58 minutes.
Now, let’s take a moment to analyze the picture, focusing specifically on Mr. Bolt’s attire. What do you note about it?
He is wearing very little. No socks, no underwear, the outfit as tiny as it can be. Why? Because he doesn’t want anything to weigh him down. He doesn’t want anything to keep him from running the race set before him.
You know, athletics, particularly races, are a great metaphor for the Christian life. In fact, NT authors use this metaphor over and over. One example is right here in Hebrews 12. Let’s read it together.
Now, there is a lot that we could and frankly should look at here, but I just want to try and bring out the two most significant points.
One, if we are going to run the race that God has placed us in, we have to get rid of everything that weighs us down. Can you think of some things that weigh us down and keep us from as living as we should? What are they? Notice that some of these things are sin and some of these things might actually be good things that simply keep us from the best thing.
So, how do we do this? How do we get rid of our baggage? How do we shed the things that keep us from running as we should?
We could get detailed here, but you know what, the real answer is pretty clear. We have to focus on Jesus. Notice what the first three words of v. 2 are…….looking unto Jesus. We have to look at his example. The verse goes on to tell us what that example was. Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
How did Jesus do it? He focused on the finish line. What was the finish line? The joy of being at the right hand of his Father, having accomplished all that the Father sent him to do.
To close, I would like to ask you to close your eyes with me for moment. As you do, imagine that it is 2016. The summer Olympics have come to Chicago. You are in the Olympic Stadium about to run in the 100 meter dash. 100,000 people looking on. In the crowd are some of the greatest sprinters of all time. Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson. Great examples of athletes who have made the sacrifices necessary to win. They are watching you intently as you get ready to run the race of your life. Wouldn’t it be amazing to run that race and win?
Friends, we are running in a much more important race. It is the race of life. How are you doing? Are you running well? Or are you weighed down with lots of baggage and sin? Are you in optimal spiritual shape? If not, what is keeping you from running as you should? Commit to get rid of that today and focus upon Jesus, following his example, and making little sacrifices today, that will lead to great joy tomorrow.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Congress is now spending 185% of what it takes in; the deficit is a post WWII record of 13% of GDP; the debt is growing by 1% a month; the US is borrowing $1.8 trillion a year.
Read the full article here.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
As we gather here to join Andy and Alli as husband and wife, I find myself filled with a number of emotions. A moment ago I felt a bit of nostalgia as I watched Alli coming down the aisle. You probably can’t tell, but there is quite an age gap between Alli and myself. Can this really be the baby girl who I first met in the hospital just 23 short years ago? Or the little girl who was just entering kindergarten when I left for college? Or the eighteen year-old whose graduation I spoke at? Or the twenty-one year old who graduated from college in three years as the valedictorian of her class? Yes, she is all of these a much more as today she is a beautiful young woman who in just a few moments will be joined to the man she loves.
Of course, on the other side of the nostalgia is pride. Of all four of my siblings, Alli and I are probably the most alike and today I take pride in our shared intelligence, good looks, humor, and most importantly, humility.
All joking aside, I am truly proud of the woman that Alli has become, the choice that she has made for her husband, and I look forward to what God is going to do through their lives.
It is now my job to give a short challenge to Alli and Andy before they are officially joined as husband and wife. And I believe this is the most difficult job of the day, for two reasons. First, I haven’t been able to get Alli to listen to me for the first 23 years of her life, and I don’t know that today will be any different. The second reason is that there is a lot of confusion in our world today about marriage. In fact, for most people Andy and Ali’s age, marriage isn’t even on the radar. And for most people older than them, staying married isn’t on the radar. It seems that a majority of people, both married and unmarried are asking the question “Why Marriage?” And while there is a great deal of confusion about this question in our culture, there is absolutely no confusion in God’s Word. And so I would simply like to take a few moments and give three biblical answers to the most important question Why Marriage?
The first reason that we see for marriage in Scripture is for companionship. In the second chapter of Genesis we see that God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and so he created Eve to be Adam’s companion.
In this same vein, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV) has become a special passage for Andy and Ali. It says this:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
A key word here is friend. Andy, Alli should be your best friend. Alli, Andy should be your best friend. This shouldn’t just be something you just say or post on Facebook, but rather reality. You are called to be more than spouses, to be more than lovers, you are called to deep friendship. There should be no human relationship that even approaches the closeness that you have with another. God has given you to one another to celebrate the good times, to encourage one another through the hard times, and to share all of the experiences of life together.
A second purpose for marriage is what I call mission. In Genesis 2 we also see that God created Adam and gave him a job, a task, a that mission he was to perform. And then God created Eve to help him accomplish this mission. In fact, the text actually says:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Genesis 2:18 (ESV)
A helper to do what – to accomplish what God had called him to do. Andy and Alli, God has given you a mission in life. Although I don’t know what that mission is specifically, I do know what it is in general, and that is the mission that Christ calls all believers to – to use our gifts and abilities to glorify God by furthering Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Until today God has called you to do this individually but from this moment forward you are to pursue Christ and His reign on this earth together, as one flesh. That is God’s mission for your marriage.
Now the final and most important purpose for marriage is illustration. The key passage in the entire Bible regarding marriage can be found in Ephesians 5. Here Paul tells us that God has designed marriage to be an illustration of the relationship that Jesus Christ has with His church. In other words, God’s design for marriage is for it to be a picture, a reflection, a testimony of how Christ relates to His bride and how his bride is called to relate to Him.
That’s why Paul tells us in v. 25 that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and in v. 24 that wives are to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. When a husband lovingly and sacrificially leads his wife, he is giving a wonderful picture to the world of how Christ lovingly and sacrificially gave his life for us. And when a wife humbly and lovingly follows her husband’s lead she is giving a great testimony of what it means for a believer to follow and honor Christ as our leader.
Everyone, I need you to listen to me carefully now. Normally I am not so straight forward on this point at weddings because I don’t want to upset people, but since most of you are family or friends and you have to love me regardless, here I go. Today is a beautiful occasion; Alli is beautiful, the dress is beautiful, the flowers are beautiful, I won’t say Andy is beautiful but he does look as good as he ever will. Everything is great. Big party to come. But you can’t miss the fact that the wedding isn’t about the dress or the flowers, or the pictures or the reception; rather it’s about the most important truth in all of life. In about 8 hours this will be all over and simply a memory. A great memory, but a memory nonetheless. But the truth that it represents is eternal. This truth is the fact that God became a man, died on a cross, rose again, and now offers us the opportunity to enter into an eternal marriage relationship with Him. That’s the purpose for today; one big celebration to point to the greatness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the wonderful relationship that he offers to each one of us.
So Andy and Alli, family and friends, please see Jesus today; have a great time, enjoy the ceremony and the reception, but don’t miss Jesus. And let’s bring glory to him, both today, and in all the days to come.
So I am not enamored with the (overused) word “diversity.” Nevertheless, I want to defend diversity in one important area: the songs that we sing in church. I believe it very good for our churches to sing songs from different eras, traditions, and styles.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Even Thomas Jefferson, identified by historians as a Deist who doubted the existence of a personal God, understood that if certain rights—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—do not come from a source beyond the reach of the state, then the state could take those rights away. Those who believe that God made us and also makes the rules about our existence and our behavior will have a completely different understanding of life’s value and our approach to affirming it until natural death.
Read the full article here.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
These enemies don't sleep, and they war against every Christian soul. They spread fastest and best when we ignore them or pretend they don't exist. In other words, if we're not actively fighting them, we are all but giving them permission to take over.
Do you even know what they are?
What would you guess?
Read the full article here.
Monday, August 10, 2009
1. Keep track of how much time you spend watching.
2. Decide in advance how much TV to watch per week.
3. Use a schedule to choose programs for the week (perhaps at family time)— then stick to your choices.
4. Keep your television unplugged, store it in a closet, and/or put it in a remote part of the house (prevents mindless flip-on).
5. Periodically "fast" from television for a week or a month.
6. Choose programs that uplift rather than undermine biblical values.
7. Use the "off" switch freely.
8. Use the channel changer frequently.
9. Watch and discuss programs together as a family.
10. Don't allow young children to choose their own programs—that's the parent's responsibility.
11. Don't use television as a baby sitter.
12. Spend an hour reading Scripture, a Christian book or magazine, or doing a ministry for each hour you watch TV.
13. Consider dropping cable, Showtime, HBO, or any other service that you determine is importing ungodliness or temptation into your home.
14. If you find you can't control it—or you're tired of the battle—get rid of your television.
There are two ways to read the Bible. We can read it as law and threat, or we can read it as promise and assurance.
If we read the Bible as law, every page will feel like God glaring at us: “If you ever . . . .” And since we are all law-breakers at heart, the Bible will crush us. Even the promises will come across as law: “God will bless sinners—well, the ones who deserve it.”
If we read the Bible as promise, every page will be hope from God. It will breathe new life into us. Even the commands will be sweetened with grace: “God will bless sinners—yes, sinners who break these laws.”
Which way of reading of the Bible is correct?
The apostle Paul explains: “The law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. . . . God gave it to Abraham by a promise” (Gal 3:17-18).
Here is Paul’s point. If we want to know whether we should read the Bible through the lens of law or promise, we can start reading on page one and see which comes first. And in fact, promise comes first—God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12. The law is a later sidebar, in Exodus 20. The category “promise” is the larger, wraparound framework for everything else.
The deepest message of the Bible is the grace of God for sinners. The Bible presents itself this way. The laws and commands and examples and warnings are all there. Let’s revere them. But we can read them with this as our foremost thought: “Jesus obeyed it all. He died for all my failure. And now he is changing my heart. I can read this page of the Bible with hope in his grace.”
Saturday, August 8, 2009
At a time of global economic crisis, in all of the talk of a subset of that crisis, the housing boom and bust, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the cause of that bust is so very simple. “Behind all the esoteric securities and sophisticated financial dealings are simple, monthly mortgage payments from millions of home buyers across the country.” When the housing payments slowed or stopped, sometimes by necessity and sometimes by choice, the boom turned to a bust. Real estate markets that had seen an unparalleled explosion of growth suddenly saw a catastrophic fall. Behind all the talk of stimulus and bailouts and increasing billions and trillions of dollars is normal people unable to make their $1000 or $2000 monthly mortgage payments.
In The Housing Boom and Bust, conservative economist Thomas Sowell looks to the housing bust and asks the simple, bedrock question: Why did so many monthly mortgage payments stop coming? His answer is as simple as it is lucid. The mortgage payments stopped coming in because during the housing boom, a time where interest rates were at historic lows, mortgages had been given to people whose prospects of repaying them were, at best, very poor. While the banks deserve some of the blame, they were in fact forced to hand out risky loans by government policies that imposed arbitrary quotas set by people whose concern was far more political than economic. These people, in the name of affordable housing and under the banner of political correctness, demanded that loans be provided to people who, under normal circumstances, could not afford them. This pressure caused financial institutions to hand increasingly “creative” (read: risky) mortgages to increasingly risky (read: poor) clients. When normal times resumed and interest rates rose, so too did payments. When payments rose, they became unaffordable and millions of people simply walked away, unable or unwilling to cover the new costs. “Why pay a $500,000 mortgage on a $300,000 home?”, they reasoned. Faced with a glut of foreclosures, banks began to offer homes at fire-sale prices, driving down costs across the market. The bubble burst, the banks began to fail and the government began printing vast quantities of money to stimulate the economy and to bail out the banks. The story continues.
Read the full article here.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Long distance swimmer Lynne Cox used to wonder how she, a short, chubby girl who failed at every athletic endeavor she attempted, could ever be a great swimmer. She wondered why she wasn’t built like the Swedish swimmers who trained next to her at the Olympic training center in Long Beach, Calif., who were long and lean and muscular and could cut through the water like fish.
At one point in her training, she remembered something she once heard: “Use it.” Meaning, get whatever it is that you perceive as a hindrance to work for you.
For Cox, “using it” meant abandoning the swimming pool that rewarded the sleekest swimmers and embracing the ocean as the canvas for her “art.” Once there, it became apparent why God built her the way He did: Her extra body fat gave her an uncanny ability to withstand ocean temperatures so frigid they caused other swimmer’s hearts to stop beating. Because of this, she was able to swim the Catalina Channel at age 14, where her thinner swim mate had to abandon the challenge because she became hypothermic. At 15 and 16 she swam the English Channel, breaking the world records for women and men. She swam Cook Strait, between the North and South islands of New Zealand; the Strait of Magellan; across Lake Mývatn in Iceland; and dodging razor sharp pan ice across Glacier Bay in Alaska. With each swim, and the training leading up to it, she taught her body to perform in colder and colder water, a feat that simply would have been impossible if she did not naturally carry a high percentage of body fat. It was this fat that enabled her to swim not only across the Bering Strait, but also the first Antarctic mile, in icy waters 32 degrees cold, through icebergs and brash ice.
Read the full article here.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Now the fight may head to the U.S. Supreme Court. Following California’s Proposition 8, which restored the historic definition of marriage in that state as the union of husband and wife, a federal lawsuit has been filed to invalidate traditional marriage laws.
It would be disastrous for the justices to do so. They would repeat the error in Roe v. Wade: namely, trying to remove a morally charged policy issue from the forums of democratic deliberation and resolve it according to their personal lights.
Read the full article here.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
- Chris Carr
- I am a husband to Eva, father of 4, pastor, and most of all passionate follower of Jesus Christ. The focus of my life is to make the most of every opportunity God gives me to bring glory to Him. Outside of the time spent in my role as a pastor, I spend most of my time with my family -- a good deal of that coaching various sports teams that my children are involved with. Every fall and winter you will find me rushing to the woods of Indiana and West Virginia in search of a monster whitetail buck.