Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Why You Shouldn't Ignore The News In 2016





This past year, I understood for the first time why some people don’t like watching the news.

I have always been a bit of a news junkie.  Part of this may have come from being a dental hygienist.  People are nervous at the dentist, and it helped to have some outside interest to divert their attention from their vulnerability and the dental poking and prodding that was coming.  With current events, we are all in it together.  

I used to hate it when a patient brought up a story I had heard nothing about.  All I could say was “Oh really?”, which is not much of a distraction from the despised plaque-scraping.  

I like to feel informed, I like to be able to contribute an opinion to the conversation, so I still turn on the news each morning and keep my radio dialed to talk stations.  But in 2015, the news was heavy and dark, and for the first time I felt the weight of it. ISIS, persecution, refugees, Planned Parenthood atrocities, Supreme Court decisions.  The world is changing at a rapid pace, and I don’t know if I want to watch where it’s heading anymore.  

I’m no longer working as a hygienist, so I no longer need to keep up on the news for my patients’ sakes.  It’s terribly tempting, as we head into another blank year on the calendar, to bury my head and ignore all the “negativity”.

But I won’t, because I know it would be irresponsible of me to do that.  The world is spinning out of control, the country as a whole is turning it’s back on God more each day, and people are going their own way.  

But it’s not too late for things to change.  

If I didn’t believe that, I would bury my head and hunker down in my house with my family until Jesus comes back.  We are not to the point of no return, but change in the world will only come through something that only those of us who follow Jesus can accomplish - prayer.

I have a little confession - I used to secretly think that there was little practical point in prayer.  Nothing can thwart God’s will.  Sure, there are benefits of prayer on our relationship with God, but I doubted whether prayer really changed anything else.   

Through a recent in-depth study at our church, I’ve come to realize that God chooses to use our prayers as a catalyst to accomplish His work on earth.  His will is that we pray, and He chooses to involve us in bringing about His will through our prayers.  It’s kind of cool actually, that He chooses to include us, because He didn’t have to set it up that way at all.  That is why prayer is powerful. Because God allows His will to be worked out on earth through prayer. 

As I watch the news now, I realize how desperately our world needs prayer.

So what is my prayer for 2016? I pray that God will bring about a great revival, and that it will start within our own families.

We turn on the news, and it is easy to see how mainstream culture has forgotten the things of God.  But I wonder how much of that same attitude has seeped into our families?  Do we turn to God with our struggles and sorrows, or do we try to find our own solutions?  Do we take our concerns about our world to Him, or do we turn the channel and try to forget what we saw?  Are we modeling the truth of prayer for our kids, or just going through the motions?

I want to teach the importance of prayer to my children this year.  I want to turn every news story or personal situation into a chance to show them that prayer matters.  I want to make our nightly prayers more rich and meaningful, instead of rushing through them. (A cute resource for nightly bedtime prayers is Max Lucado’s Treasury of Bedtime Prayers, and I think it will be a good place to find inspiration when I have trouble coming up with the words.) 

There will be no revival in this country without a revival of prayer.  God tells us that the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much, and it is time for those who follow Jesus to pray fervently for hearts to turn back to God in our nation and world through each situation we see on the news every day.

In 2015, I had to practice taking that heavy, dark feeling and shining the light of prayer on it.  In 2016, I want to pray more fervently that God would use the darkness to emphasize His light all the more.  I pray that in the midst of these scary days in history, God would draw people to Himself.  I pray that He would use me and my family, in whatever part of His story we must play, to bring our country back to Him.

Will you join me in praying for our nations as we start 2016?  I don’t know what this new year will hold, but I do know that the future looks brighter when we turn our faces to Jesus.


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Lord, we need Your help.  We have all turned aside to our own paths, and there is none of us who is without sin.  Thank You for sending Jesus to pay for our sins.  Thank You that when we believe in Him, You cover us with His righteousness.

Lord, forgive us when we forget that in the midst of these scary times, You are our Hope.  Help us to remember to turn to You with our fears.  I pray that You would bring about a revival in America, the greatest one in our history, and that You turn people here and around the world back to You.  

Forgive us for our own failure to turn to You and our passivity in the face of evil and suffering.  Please work in our own hearts to put You first, and to obey Your voice as we try to shine Your light in the darkness. May we all do the work that You have for us in 2016, and give us the strength to be fervent in prayer.

Amen.









(Note: This post is sponsored by Tommy Nelson, but the topic is something I am passionate about, and as always, all opinions are my own.)

On The Election


I usually don't post twice in one day, but I thought I'd address the elephant in the room - last night's election.

Am I happy with the outcome? No. Am I surprised? Not exactly. It's really hard to oust the incumbent president, and though I thought it might happen this time, it's not overly surprising that it didn't.

I wrote this post four years ago after Obama won that first election (it may be a bit melodramatic, but then again, considering where the country is headed now, maybe not). And I thought I'd repost the sentiment now to encourage all of you who are as bummed about the outcome as I am.

Hebblog

First off, let me just say that I cringe when Christians use this verse as an excuse not to care about politics.  As my friend Leanna said on Twitter last night "I am certain my hope isn't in any human being . . . but it is foolish to think the choices of mankind do not affect all humanity."  

I agree with that, and I think as Christians we are supposed to care about doing what we can to promote biblical principles here on earth.  That means caring about "politics", at least as far as it relates to our faith.  It means fighting for those who cannot defend themselves.  It means voting.

But at moments like this?  I think it is important to also remember that as Christians, we may love our country dearly and think it is a privilege to live here (because it is!), and it is discouraging (rightly so) to see it going the wrong direction . . . but in the end, America isn't our real "homeland".  When it all seems to be going down the tubes?  We are still not without a home, because we don't belong here (or anywhere on earth) in the first place.  We belong in Heaven.  

We do what we can for the Lord here, on a political level and on a personal level, while still knowing that this isn't all there is.  And we're not doing it for the here and now - we're doing it because our true citizenship is in Heaven, and even while we are here as Americans, we are still living as citizens of that Heavenly Country - which is always intact, because God is King there.

The thought of the next four years here might scare me, and you can bet I'll be happy when the next election rolls around and we have another shot at this, but it is a comfort to me at times to remember that no matter who is president, I am a stranger here.  I am glad this world is not my home.

 


Eat More To Have A Boy?

I came across this article recently, and thought I'd share: Diet Before Pregnancy Can Affect Baby's Sex, New Research Suggests.

If you don't want to click through and read it yourself, basically it's about a study that suggests that women may play a part in which gender their babies are. The article says that women who had a higher caloric intake at the time of conception were more likely to have boys (56% as opposed to 45%).

The article didn't suggest any theories on how that exactly works, but it makes you wonder . . .

My experience fits into this theory. At the time when we were trying for Wyatt, I was trying to gain weight to get my Body Mass Index in the normal range. My caloric intake was pretty high.

I just thought this was interesting.

So maybe if you want to have a boy, you should go for that extra brownie?

What about you? Were you dieting or eating alot when you got pregnant with your baby? Did your experience match this study at all?


Last Launch

I don't have much to say today, and I'm typing on my iPod, which is not easy, so I'll keep it short.

But did you hear about the last space shuttle launch today? I'm not able to watch, because I'm at work, but I wish I could be there for the launch. Is it really the last space shuttle ever? I find that very depressing. I think space exploration is important - and now it's over? Boo! I hope our next president starts the shuttle program back up again (if we can ever afford it again, with the crazy national debt).

Do you know how many advances in technology came as an indirect result of research done for the space program? Pretty much anything worth having. And they just ended it.

Needless to say, I'm not happy about this. But when you spend trillions of dollars in three short years you have to cut somewhere, right? It makes me sick.

Today could mark the end of an era.

But I'm not giving up hope yet. This could still turn around, right? I'll give up hope when I'm fifty and there's still no space program.




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The Death Of An Evil Man

I have some thoughts floating around in my head on Osama Bin Laden's death today, and I want to get them out there while they're fresh, so excuse the second post in one day.

There have been alot of conflicting reactions to Bin Laden's death from what I've seen on Facebook, Twitter, and the blogging world. Some people have been rejoicing at the death of this man, and some people have been stating their belief that it's wrong to celebrate the death of anyone.

I'm not going to say anything on the reactions of people who don't know the Lord, but for those of us who follow Jesus, how should we react?

Personally, I think there is an appropriate reaction, and an inappropriate reaction.

Did Bin Laden deserve to die? You bet. In the Old Testament, the Lord required the death penalty for far fewer crimes than all the atrocities that Osama Bin laden committed (just read Deuteronomy). (You should know that I am for the death penalty, but that is not what this post is about, so let's not go off on a tangent here.)

Did Bin Laden deserve to go to hell? Absolutely. But he deserved it no more than any of us do before we are saved through the blood of Jesus (Romans 3:23).

Should we rejoice that he is suffering in hell? Definitely not. Even the Lord isn't pleased that Bin Laden is in hell. He does not wish that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Do we have to mourn his death because he went to hell? No. The Bible acknowledges that the people will celebrate when the wicked perish (Proverbs 11:10), and there is no place saying we have to dredge up some sad feelings when an evil man dies.

Can we be "happy" in the sense of being satisfied that justice was done here on earth? I think so, because our God is a God of justice (Psalm 50:6). And through Bin Laden's death, justice has been done for all those whom he killed.

Those are my thoughts on the subject.




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Nashville Under Water


Nashville is under several feet of water.

I was rather shocked when a friend told me last weekend that there was a huge flood in Nashville - because I hadn't heard a thing about it!

Not on the radio, not on TV. It's rather bizarre how no one is covering this flood.

It's not like a little localized flooding either. It's the entire city.

Here's a video:



I know there was the whole car-bombing incident, and the oil spill, which is what the media seems to be more concerned about at the moment. Those things are important too, but I really don't think it's a good excuse to practically ignore all those people in Nashville.

It's ridiculous.

Anyway, please say a prayer for those in Nashville who are trying to piece everything back together. They're handling the damage from the flooding by themselves - I say good for them for not running and whining to the government to save them!

If you're interested in donating something to help, you can check out the Middle Tennessee Red Cross.









Image from the Huffington Post. Video from YouTube. Click to see more photos of the Nashville Flood.

Miss California Standing For Traditional Marriage


I was watching Fox News this morning and they were talking about the Miss USA pageant. Have any of you heard about this? Apparently some celebrity blogger who was on the judging panel asked Miss California (who was one of the finalists for the crown) what she thought about legalizing gay marriage. Here's a video of the question and Miss California's answer.



Miss California responded to the question as diplomatically as she could while still saying that she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. I think the judge was targeting her with that question, because her bio definitely implies that she is a Christian. Miss California did not win the pageant - she ended up getting the first runner up position. That blogging judge then proceeded to post a video on his blog calling Miss California explitives. He seems gay to me.

I say good for Miss California for standing up for her values and what she believes in! She was punished for it, but I think she has a great attitude about it. I heard in an interview with Fox News she said that this was a time when her character and faith was tested, and she passed. She's who I would want to represent our country as Miss USA.

If you want more information, just google "Carrie Prejean", aka Miss California.



The above image was taken from Yahoo.

Why Haven't I Heard About this Until Now?

I was driving home from my six month dental cleaning and grocery shopping this afternoon, and I turned the radio to my favorite talk show host Rush Limbaugh. I'm a Rush baby and I listen to hime whenever I can. However when I changed to the correct station they were on one of those news breaks at the top of the hour. I wasn't really paying much attention to what was being said until I heard something about Obama and embryonic stem cell research.

Yes, that's right people, Obama signed a bill today which removes some of the funding limits on embryonic stem cell research that President Bush instituted and allows more tax-payer money to go toward this. So more of our hard-earned money is going toward killing human babies. What kills me is that I haven't heard about this bill until now. Everyone has been so focused on these ridiculous supposedly "economic stimulus" spending bills, and Obama just snuck this research bill in there while no one was looking. I'm pretty outraged at this! I do not want my taxes going toward something that I don't believe in, that I believe is morally wrong and unnecessary!

I knew there was a reason I was so depressed when Obama got elected. This is how America, and all she stands for, will die; not with a bang or a battle cry or shout. Only some will try to save her or mourn for her, because most won't even realize what has happened until it's too late. No America wil not die by any outside force - she will die by gradual, oh so gradual, internal wounds, as by a cancer that has hated what she has stood for from her foundation. And I don't think it will stop until everything we have loved about our country is eventually gone.

Let's do everything we can to try to save her - my fellow Christians, it is our responsibility as American citizens to try to preserve everything that is decent about our country, fight for all that is right and good and God-given, and save our country from these sneaky, deadly policies. I could do a better job of this myself - staying informed and getting involved. Will you join me?
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