Monday, November 29, 2010
Outrageous! Outrageous! It is simply outrageous and ridiculous for a professional not to acknowledge his mistake. It is mind boggling for Mr Johnson shifting responsibility and blaming God for his fault. Honestly, you need to be ashamed of yourself for failing to live up to expectation. You should be manly enough to acknowledge that you goofed. This episode revealed the shortsightedness of man and how ungrateful a man can be. Can you see how a man reacted negatively to the generosity of God. No matter how you feel or what you say about Him: He is still God. Your perception of Him does not affect His Sovereignty. This is an example of self-centeredness of man. Whatever happens give thanks because He is faithful. Give Him praise for all He has done. He deserves it. Thanksgiving is an act that provokes the acts of God. It must be our daily endeavour.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
"Grateful People Are Happier, Healthier Long After the Leftovers Are Gobbled Up." This is the main point of this article I found wall street journal. Is having a heart of gratitude and constantly giving thanks really related to having a healthier life? I believe so! According to the article, it says that people who have a spirit of gratitude tend to be more happy, optimistic, have close and good friends, and possess more energy. I believe all this to be true. Am sure a number of us have heard the stories of missionaries that travel to third world countries and meeting extremely poor people people who have a heart of gratitude and are some of the kindest people. I am not saying that this is true in every case, but I have seen from personal experience people that are always thankful have a more optimistic view of line and are happy.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Recently as a class assignment I had to read a book by Larry Crabb called "Connecting". In his book he talks about hurting souls crying out for what only a community can give. He goes on to say that when guided by the Holy Spirit something powerful can be poured out of the heart of one into the goodness they see in another. Like the mother holding the baby close, Crabb in his book talks about the powerful effect that others including himself felt from being held (a form of connecting). That's what I believe the mother did she connected with her son. I wonder what would happen if we as Christian started reaching out and connecting more instead of leaving others to handle it alone or pushing them off on someone or something.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The PewResearch Center conducted a study looking Americans knowledge of Religion. The study consisted of questions pertaining to numerous denominations beliefs and practices as well as some general knowledge questions. Based on the results from the study the researchers concluded that Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups in regards to religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions. Researchers were able to conclude that schooling and level of education was the single best predictor of religious knowledge. While people with a high level of religious commitment do better than average on the religion questions, people with low levels of religious commitment do better than average on the general knowledge questions.
When I first saw this article, I was not sure how to react. On a basic level, taking the results for what they mean means that Atheists, Agnostics, Jews and Mormons know the most about religious knowledge even out performing other religions on core teachings. A simplistic answer could be that perhaps one or more of those religious groups constantly defend their beliefs and thus in turn they know more because they are prepared for a battle. Moreover, Protestants/Christians scoring the least in certain areas made me ask myself, does this make us less spiritual? And, honestly I don’t know.
My perspective is that God is not going to give us a “quiz” on how much we know. That is not important to Him, God says that we are made new because of the cross. We did not earn it nor do we even deserve it. In fact, I believe it says it is not because people do not know about God and his Glory they just choose not to believe. On the other hand, I do think that as a Christians and especially as believers, we should know what we believe and why we believe it.
Because for me this is more article is more than just a report on knowledge, it is about what we have been trying to understand all semester long: Can a _____________ (example, Buddhist) be more spiritual than a Christian? And I think yes, they can be. Buddhist believe what they believe but more than believing they embody what they believe. If as a Christian, we believe what we are told to then we never represent our beliefs they represent us. Once we acknowledge we are fallen and saved, we begin to personify spiritual formation. This is a continuous process where we learn and question what we believe so we can in turn live what we believe and if it ends, we essentially have ended.
Reading an article about the most important skills of a counselor I have realized that Christians counselors have a big responsibility and burden in our days. We have something very valuable to bring in the field of counseling. A spiritual component that I would say it is more important than any other skill or knowledge a therapist may possess. It is more than an theory or approach … it is a new way of doing counseling
Even if there may be Christian Counselors who may disagree with me, my personal opinion is that the spiritual formation of the Counselor is very important, if not crucial in the process of counseling.
Probably if Jesus would be asked to talk about this very subject he would use the same words he have used 2000 years ago: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? Luke 6:39 (NIV)
If we, as counselors, say that we are partners with God in the healing process, the relationship we have with our Creator and supreme Doctor should play a crucial role in the counseling process. Even if techniques, theories and skills are important for the counselor, all these without the guidance and wisdom of the Great Counselor (The Holy Spirit) would still make the helper a “blind trying to lead another blind”.
Also it is very important how the Counselor see the problem or the root of the problem he is addressing in therapy. If he sees it as a personal sin or mistake, or as an universal disease, or maybe an integration of both. (McMinn, 1996)
The perspective how the problem is seen can be of a huge influence in the treatment goals, methods and techniques established and used.
A recent study was conducted by the Knights of Columbus to compare the past generations and how, “religious” they are. Although this survey maybe a little biased for Catholics, I think it still has much truth in it. The survey looked at moral values, religious views, religious experiences, and social issues. The sample was taken from 2,243 Americans, which included 1,006 Millennials, from the ages 18-29, from December 23, 2009- January 4, 2010.
The results from this study were quite interesting, and speak much truth of our nation right now as a whole. One result showed that Millennials share the same view as older generations when it comes to our nation heading in the wrong direction with morals and societal values. Although it may seem that our nation is going in the wrong direction, one hopeful result showed that most millennials think marriage infidelity and abortion is morally wrong, and they would like to see it decrease. This tells us that if there worldviews and morals stands firm, we will in the next decade see a change within our nations values and morals.
The last and most interesting result of this study was when asked if they believed in God, 76% of millennials said yes, which is the lowest percentage ever. However when asked about their top five life Goals, 31% of millennials said, “To be spiritual or close to God, which is the highest percentage in the last 100 years. This tells us two things. One, we could be on the brink of entering a Christian movement that could sweep across the nation, and really cause another “Great Awakening”. Two, it tells me that millennials are hungry for God, but aren’t being fed. I know your probably saying to yourself, “What can I do about this? I’m just a student.” Although you are student, and the Church should feed most of this hunger, you can still do your part. Matthew 28:18-20, which says “......All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This just isn’t talking about being a missionary, although that is good and needed. Jesus is also telling you as Christians to go out into your community, colleges, etc... and preach His word!
One thing I thought of when reading this article is Larry Crabb's book Connection. One reason us Millennials aren't being fed is because people are connecting with them. When I say people I mean pastors. I'm not saying all pastors are this way, but sometimes I get this feeling that the pastor that I am listening to truly doesn't care about us, and even more he doesn't really believe or live out what he is preaching. If a Millennial sees this they are going to shut down to the idea of Christianity immediately. What do you think?
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of bullying lately, specifically the bullying of gay and lesbian children, teens and young adults. I have had this topic on my mind for the past month and I debated whether or not I would talk about it on this blog, but I decided to go ahead anyway. First, I want to start by saying that I in no way agree with or support homosexuality, but I believe that as believers we aren’t doing enough.
There is an anti-bullying bill called the Safe Schools Improvement Act and it wants to include sexual orientation as a category along with religion and race and it would also provide programs to educate students. However, certain Christian organizations are fighting this because they believe it will lead to a tolerance of the homosexual lifestyle. Also stated was the fact that adding anti-gay bullying to the bill would be telling our children what they should believe morally. The last I checked this was not the responsibility of the school board or the society at large, that is the responsibility of the parent(s). Of course we don’t want schools teaching our children the opposite of what we believe about homosexuality because it confuses them and for some makes it seem ok to indulge in that lifestyle; but we cannot stop people from saying what they want to say and even if we stopped schools, there is still, television, radio, even worse the internet and people in general that state their own opinions. We can’t shelter our children from everything so the best thing I can do for my own is to teach them the standards that we live by and that is whatever the Word says and hope that they make the right decisions for themselves because we cannot do it for them. Are we as Christians so caught up in the fact that these people are sinning, that we lose sight of the fact that we are to be showing them the love of Christ as a way to lead them back to Him? It’s no wonder the homosexual community wants nothing to do with the church because the Jesus that Christians shout at them who is supposed to love them so much is not being demonstrated. Adding anti gay bullying to the bill may cause people to become more tolerant but if we don’t add it, more innocent lives will be destroyed because there is no one there to protect them, and I’m not saying that this bill will protect them because we’ve seen examples that it doesn’t always work to the victim’s advantage. When are we going to get or our moral high horse and really show the LGBT community what the love of Christ looks like. Every time I hear about or read something like this I keep thinking to myself what would Christ do in this situation? It seems so cliché for a Christian to say “WWJD” but maybe we should be asking ourselves that question more often instead of saying and doing what we have been doing.
What if this we’re you child being bullied for whatever reason, what would you be feeling right now? Imagine what all the other children and parents are going through? Are we looking out for the best interest of the children or are we just fighting for the cause? We really need to stop making it about religion and focus on the relationship because this is what Jesus did and that is why He has made and is making such an impact in people’s lives.
I'll end with this quote by Father James Martin: "If pro-life means trying to avoid anything that will threaten any life, from natural conception to natural death, then we should be finding ways to protect all life, which also means preventing suicides, and preventing gay suicides," Martin wrote. "In any event, there is much for us, the church, still to do."
The articles I read for this were: Believers: Problem or solution?, Christians respond to gay bullying, Christian right decries bullying, When a bullies kid grows up, Adult survivors of peer abuse.
Do you remember the outcry from some people when NASA officially stated that Pluto was no longer a planet in our solar system? There were online petitions and media outrage from those in the science and other communities that disagreed with NASA. There were even several facebook pages dedicated for Pluto as the true 9th planet. Well, science has done it again. Some paleontologists have decided to state that your childhood three-horned dinosaur, the Triceratops, never existed the same way we thought it was. Now a lot of dinosaur fanatics and Triceratops fans had posted their outrage about this discovery. Believe it or not, these researchers and their research do not have the full support from most of their colleagues.To give you a brief info about the situation, some scientists compared the skeleton of the Triceratops to another animal, Torosaurus. The animals look similar but they believed that the Triceratops is the “teenager” form for Torosaurus by its frill size. What people and I would complain about is not just about the erasing the existence of our image of Triceratops but what I found that the Triceratops is larger in size than Torosaurus. How is a juvenile form larger than the adult?
A report like this has to remind me that scientific findings are fallible and is susceptible to change, though we live in a culture that constantly remind us to give full reverence to the name of science. Science is just made up of discovered data and knowledge that is discovered so far. But the data and knowledge we obtained is always changing. Who knows what science will change that many believed to be true because science in the past stated it was true. Trusting only science can shatter a person’s view on life since science is not immune to change and may convince some to believe that science is evident for existence of only subjective truth with denial of absolute truth.
When it comes to Name of God and Jesus, our culture demands that we have to question the existence or need for God or Jesus and we are encouraged to discredit because of faith is considered as pseudoscience. Yet, time after time science changes in order to adapt with compromises for the sake of easy living and adaption for society. Biblical scripture is never supposed to change or compromise for the sake of adaption with society. It remains the same for giving the same message of love, responsibility, need of a Savior which is constantly needed in any society and century. The words can be translated or updated and still try to remain faithful at the same time. There is place in this world for usage of both science and scripture. Science may change but we need it to understand how things work and be able to live a better physical life while we need Biblical scripture to be able to moral judgment, be able to be tolerant properly, and have a better spiritual life.