"Bad Believers"..."Nonbelievers"....or....?


A very thought-provoking article on the "faith lives" of both major political party candidates for the United States Presidency.

Christianity Today offers much food for thought. And helps us examine how we can truly bring honor to that name we seek to be called by.

"Known Personally"

Pastor Jack Hayford continually inspires and refreshes my heart with his great love for Christ, and his passion for God's people.

Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up.
Psalm 139:1–2

God’s Word never suggests we are to live on secondhand experiences. I may be taught, cared for, and nourished by the help and counsel of others—my mentors as well as my peers—but the One who saved me for Himself, and has called me unto Himself, also desires to draw me closer to Himself.

He is the One who “knows my sitting down and my rising up,” who knows “the thoughts and intents” of my heart, who “knows each word before it is spoken from my lips” and who “numbers the hairs of my head.” God does more than take statistical notice of my existence. He desires to be personally involved with the details of my life—continually.

Why Bush-Cheney will not get my vote

I'm a registered Republican...and I'm sorely disappointed in the current Administration.

I will not vote for a second term of the current Bush-Cheney Administration. Here's why:

1. While the invasion of Iraq was both necessary and inevitable, it was ill-planned, unfinanced, and has been poorly executed, by and large. The only very positive thing is that Iraq now has a fledgling chance at democracy--and the heavy emphasis is on "fledgling."

2. The Vice President's old company, HALLIBURTON has bilked the American taxpayer (that would include ME) out of more than 6 billion dollars--according to the GAO. There have been no repercussions, and there probably won't be any either.

3. ENRON executives, the Houston-based thugs who have financially raped hundreds of workers (and many of their retirees) are still running on the lose--while the current Justice Department had to make sure that Martha Stewart paid her debt to society--which she never harmed in the first place. I don't even like Martha, but I find myself defending her.

4. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has all but allowed the brave military personnel under his portfolio to be demoralized, causing unnecessary detriment to many families--active duty, guardsmen/women, and reservists. This is unconscionable. I served for ten years under three Presidents and five Secretaries of Defense---this is absolutely an atrocious abuse of our military personnel.

5. Secretary of State Colin Powell has been all but silenced....why?

Nope, I can't bear the thought of another four years of the current failed Administration.

As many OPINIONS as there are people, I guess...

For those who are the least bit interested in a balanced view of the "Same Sex marriage" debate that is blanketing our nation, here is a vast array of opinions, taken from Christianity Today:


Of course, we must be "disciples" as Jesus defined them. We are called to be His Children, His Disciples, and represent His truth.

There in lies the challenge...and sometimes "the rub."

Starting Points....

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you--your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.

Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So, friends, confirm God's invitation to you, His choice of you. Don't put it off; do it now. Do this, and you'll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

From THE MESSAGE Second Peter Chapter One


"I simply argue that the Cross should be raised at the center ofthe marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles; but on a cross between two thieves; on the towns' garbage heap; at a crossroad, so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek... at the kind of placewhere cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died about. That is where churchmen ought to be and what churchmen ought to be about."

The Cost of Honesty

The Cost of Honesty: A brief lesson on everyday integrity.
By Kathryn Lay

When I was a child, I thought as a child. Sometimes I took things from another child's hand when I wanted it. Once or twice, I took candy from a store. That ended the first time my mother caught me and sent me back to confess and apologize.

It wasn't much, about a penny's worth of thievery.

But is there such a thing as a "little dishonesty"?

Recently, I left the post office with a handful of stamps. Once I had stamped all my manuscripts, I found that I'd been given eight more stamps than I paid for. When I returned to the employee who had sold me the stamps, it took a lot of explaining to make him understand why I was returning them. "Why did you bring them back? No one would've known."

"It's the right thing to do," I explained, suddenly not even sure why I'd made the effort.

But my 12-year-old daughter nodded and smiled at me.

Should we go out of our way to be honest? After all, with the post office situation, I didn't steal the stamps; it was the postal worker who made the mistake. But does my honesty depend on the actions of another?

I can be dishonest. But I choose to be honest. When it's all said and done, how much is my dignity and self-respect worth? The cost of an outdated coupon or rebate on an item I didn't purchase?

It's easy to be honest when we're afraid of getting caught or into trouble. But, if it seems like a "sure thing," it's easy to convince ourselves that we're not being dishonest, someone else just wasn't being careful enough.

Is a lie always a lie?

The best lesson I had on honesty came several years back while on vacation in Wimberley, a charming town in southern Texas. The small square was filled with antique and craft shops. After an hour of shopping, my husband and I stopped for lunch in a café near the square. I was surprised when a woman entered the restaurant and walked over to our table.

"I'm sorry, but I shorted you on your change," she explained. Then she held out a $1 bill.
I recognized her from a candle shop we'd visited earlier. "But how did you know I'd be here?" I was flabbergasted. She had actually searched the shops to return a dollar. Honesty was very important to her.

On the other hand, a man I know returned a large television set to a department store and was given cash for his return. A month later, he noticed this amount had also been deleted from his credit card bill. He didn't bother contacting his credit card company.

Does God want me to be just a little honest? Or honest only in certain situations? Or only when someone is looking? How much dishonesty is too much? Sometimes I am the only person who knows whether I am being honest in a situation or not.

Do I keep extra change I'm given, cheat on my taxes, ignore the double credit on a credit card statement? Do I tell my daughter that a white lie is still a lie, but a few minutes later tell the police officer that my accelerator got stuck?

When did honesty become an endangered value?

Somewhere that man is proud of the $700 he cheated the department store out of and laughs about it with everyone he knows, even his daughter. Somewhere in Wimberley, Texas, there is a truly honest woman. I rejoice in sharing that story with my daughter.

If given a choice, I hope I'm the latter.

And that's the honest truth.

Kathryn Lay is a writer in Arlington, Texas.
Copyright © 2004 by the author or Christianity Today International/Today's Christian magazine.

From the Supreme Court


Religious freedom isn't free anymore, huh?

About "those" Friends

A simple friend has never seen you cry. A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears .

A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names. A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

A simple friend brings a present to your party. A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed. A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems. A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history. A real friend could blackmail you with it.

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest. A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you HAVE an argument. A real friend calls you after you had a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them. A real friend expects to always be there for you!

Jesus Himself said, "Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13).

Think about this

"They came for the Communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Communist.Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Trade Unionist.Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me."
- Pastor Martin Niemoller

"Woman, Thou Art Loosed" THE MOVIE


Bishop T D Jakes ( a well-known Pentecostal/Charismatic pastor in the Dallas area) with the help of several friends (including Oprah Winfrey) have produced an incredibly eye-opening, thought-provoking movie....a "must see" in my opinion.

Teenage sexual abuse among women is one of the worst blights on our contemporary society. Some statistics show that one in FIVE girls will be molested/raped before they turn 18.

See this movie...and if you know someone who has been damaged, or maybe even damaged your self by sexual abuse (whether male or female), know that God loves you, and that resources are available to help you find His healing and grace in your life.

From the heart of Pastor Jack Hayford


The Velvet Lined Trap

by Jack Hayford

from The Anatomy of Seduction – Defending Your Heart for God

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

While seduction is romanticized by our worldly culture, it is a powerful bait of the Adversary in his insatiable quest to steal the glorious fulfillment that God has designed and intended for us as His children.

Identifying the Destroyer

Hellish intrusion is always at hand. It is the relentless and calculated objective of a very real Being and of the host of cohorts at his command, as our common Adversary makes his approach. He is ever and always merciless—his victims being targeted irrespective of age and without consideration for the rich and wonderful purposes of God for each human being.
Our Lord Jesus identifies our enemy, Satan, as a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10). Satan brutally seeks this objective at every point of human experience, existence and enterprise. He seeks to destroy domestically (ruining homes and marriages); economically (draining resources and bankrupting business pursuits); professionally (removing the prospects of fruitfulness and effectiveness in one’s labors); physically (encumbering with affliction, sickness and death); and on and on.

Behind this Destroyer lies a trail of destruction as he works his wiles, brutalizing minds and emotions along the way and especially manipulating our vulnerability at that fundamental point of our identity—our sexuality. Once we have been seduced and snared at any point—and especially when we are caught in the velvet-lined trap of sexual bondage—the Enemy of our souls floods people with shame and guilt in order to steal their confidence and peace;
deceives people into adopting habits that kill effective discipleship; and
neutralizes believers’ testimonies in order to destroy the life-transmitting power of their witness, their "ministry."

As I have elaborated with completeness and clarity in this book’s companion, Fatal Attractions – Why Sex Sins Are Worse Than Others, the power of sexual sin and bondage is too profound for sexual sin to be considered "simply another kind of failure" or to be trivialized as "risky entertainment" or "just playing around."

Held Captive by the Culture

I want to underline these realities for you, especially if you are a vibrant young person just coming into adulthood. You may be wondering why it’s so important to defend yourself against the seducing influences of the world, when that means going against the rip-roaring tide of everything that is presented as desirable by the icons of popular culture. More than a generation ago, our society absorbed into its rhetoric the slogan, "If it feels good, do it," elevating the sensual over the spiritual, and enshrining covetousness and lust over wisdom and morality. Today, it barely takes watching network television, viewing a supposed-to-be family film, glancing at a magazine or tuning in to a three-minute MTV clip to be bombarded by the glamorization of immoral lifestyle choices and sexual images.

Learn it early, dear one: The agenda here is not hidden. The intended objective has become clear and unapologetic: to excite to sexual arousal (in the name of "informing" or "educating") and to entice to sexual indulgence (by suggesting that to be sexually disciplined is to be "inactive" and to be sexually indulgent is to be "active"). The result is the formation of a matrix of thought that reduces true humanity to something other than "persons" and that binds soul and body onward and downward toward the pit at the end of seduction’s dead-end path.
This seduction may not involve a believer’s consideration of an outright or blatant expression of sexual immorality. Rather, it may be the subtle deception that a select portion of the Enemy’s tempting bait can be accessed without getting caught in his trap: lingering on the adult cable station while channel surfing, failing to be discriminating in the kinds of reading material permitted in the home, engaging in chatty flirtation over the Internet or entertaining one’s sexual fantasies and imagination. It may be the temptation to compromise in subtle ways, having been deceived by the Adversary into valuating some sin as "not so bad" or not even as sin at all.

Or the seduction may be the blatantly inappropriate indulgences of fondling or French kissing a person who is not your spouse—practices that have gone from the restricted to the recreational. Today, we are witnessing at pervasive and disturbing dimensions (especially as it relates to teens and even preteens) the absorption of homosexuality, masturbation and oral sex into our culture, stamped with society’s seal of approval. Tragically, this view has, at times, been validated by some in Christian circles.

Called to Be Holy

Yet if these seductions and deceptions were not detrimental to what Father God, our Creator, intended for our lives, He would not have provided in His Word warning after warning about sexual immorality, as well as the admonition that believers in Jesus Christ are to be holy—a way of living that is both possible and rewarding.

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:13-16).

Holy living is not beyond our ability, because it is Christ in us who enables that holy living. Our ability to live holy lives is dependent only on the degree of our submission to Christ in us. Holy living is desirable because of the abundant harvest of spiritual fruit that such discipleship produces. Purity and self-control are among the foundational characteristics of believers in Jesus Christ who have genuinely given their lives to the Lord and who now live enabled and empowered by His Holy Spirit and not by their own inclinations (see Galatians 5:22-23).

For a number of believers, even those who walk in moral purity and those who enter purely into the covenant relationship of marriage, there come situations in which everything that’s in us seems to be tested in the face of temptation. The Bible does not teach that we will never be tempted, but it does teach that we are fully equipped by the Word of God and the power of God to resist the temptation: "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (Jas. 4:7).