Tag Archives: Bible

“It’s For the Children” May Be Harming The Children!

India recently celebrated Diwali, a holiday which marks “the homecoming of the Hindu god, Lord Ram, from exile.” In the past, it was celebrated by illuminating clay lamps. These days, it is a massive fireworks show, approximately 50,000 tons. Now that’s a show!

But there’s a problem. Delhi’s air quality is poor. A study found that “half of the city’s 4.4 million schoolchildren have diminished lung capacity.” And fireworks exacerbate the problem. In fact, last year’s show caused so much smoke that a “toxic haze blanketed the city” for a week. Many citizens suffered health issues.

So India’s Supreme Court stepped in. They banned the sale of fireworks in Delhi. Of course, the ban went over with a hiss, crack, and boom among local merchants. Nevertheless, people find a way, and enough fireworks went off that it took over 3 days to return to pre-Diwali air conditions!

When asked about the decision to ban the sale of fireworks, one merchant said, “what do we tell the kids on Diwali: ‘Go pray, eat your food and go to bed? How will they enjoy that?” Another said, “If there are no crackers, then Diwali doesn’t mean anything – only lights and sweets. It’s too boring!”

Doesn’t mean anything? Even though fireworks are a modern addition, many said they might as well not celebrate Diwali without them. It would be too boring.

Hmmm…sound familiar?

I love a good fireworks show. But we can learn a lesson from the Hindu dilemma. More harm than good is often done when invoking the plea, “it is for the children!” The fireworks in Delhi add to pollution that is literally killing the children.

Has the church fallen victim to the same irony? In a rush to entertain, do we create apathy toward true, yet simple, worship? If we remove modern entertainment, is it “too boring” to worship God? Is, “for the children,” harming the children in the church?

I do enjoy a good fireworks show. But there’s a time for entertainment, and there’s a time for the pure milk of the word. May we use wisdom to discern the two.

#forthechildren

Still Refuse To Believe? Consider The Evidence.

“And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44).

I think I’ve heard every excuse for why this couldn’t be blood in Jesus’ sweat. Some claim that the word, “like” gives an out to the skeptic. Others deny that “blood sweat” exists. Many simply shrug and say they can’t explain it.

But “hematohidrosis” is real. It is a rare condition. And a 21-year-old patient, who was recently treated for “blood sweat,” definitively answers the critics.

The young woman in question has dealt with “blood sweat” for at least three years. She was a patient of Dr. Roberto Maglie at the University of Florence. Hematologists at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto further studied her case, and they recently published their findings in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Sometimes “blood sweat” occurs in her sleep, other times under stress. It can appear on her hands and her face. The condition causes her stress and depression. She even ostracized herself from society due to the condition.

Having ruled out cuts, colored sweat secretion, such as chromhidrosis and pseudochromhidrosis, and other possibilities, doctors treated her for hematohidrosis. The medical team also reviewed 42 medical articles since 1880 about the condition. Yet some doctors still refuse to accept its existence.

Why is it so difficult to believe? Medical historian Jacalyn Duffin from Queen’s University in Ontario wrote, “the long-standing association of hematohidrosis with religious mystery may make its existence harder to accept.” In other words, because “blood sweat” is Biblical, it gets dismissed.

In and of itself, this kind of skepticism is nothing new. If the Bible said it, then secular-minded individuals want to disregard it. But at what point does overwhelming evidence not cause one to review the facts?

Of course, hematohidrosis is just a small example of a larger issue. Many will deny anything associated with religion. But consider this: every time the truth comes out, the Bible’s message is always confirmed.

Jesus was under such great stress that, Luke, a physician, wrote of a condition that appears to have been “blood sweat.” Jesus wept on behalf of humanity. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and arose resurrected on the 3rd day. You might not want to believe any of that either, but you should carefully examine the evidence.

There will come a day when, at His coming, the truth is completely revealed to all…how does that impact your next decision?

Sitting Is Killing Us…Physically and Spiritually

Sitting is killing us. No, seriously. Sitting. Of all the things out there, it turns out that simply sitting is a significant risk to our health. In fact, experts are calling sitting, “the new smoking.”

According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, (Click for Study), researchers have tied sitting for lengthy periods to an increased risk of death in subjects who were 45 and up. Regularly sitting more than 30 minutes at a time increases risk, and 90 minutes or more doubles the risk.

Do you know how much time you sit? Probably more than you think. Previous studies based on self-reporting had people sitting ~9.5 hours/day. But when participants wore activity monitors, the results were ~12 hours out of a 16 hour waking day!

Many of us have jobs where we sit…a lot. So we exercise. But according to the study, exercise doesn’t cancel out the problem. We still need to get up every 30 minutes and have 5 minutes of walking or moving around time.

Spiritually speaking, the same principle is true. Many of us think that by praying at meals, going to church on Sunday, and occasionally reading our Bibles, we have “exercised” our faith. But short bursts of exercise are no match for movement throughout the day.

We have been fooling ourselves. The truth? Most Christians today are morbidly stationary in their faith.

So what’s the solution? Move! That’s why so many of Jesus’ commands to His disciples encouraged movement. Our default is sitting. We need to be reminded… “Wake up,” “Get up,” “Go,” “Pray,” “Carry,” “You feed them,” etc.

Of course, there are limitations. Often, the elderly, infirmed, or physically disabled can’t literally “get up and go” so easily. But, spiritually speaking, we can “take five” from sitting far more often than we do.

I have a watch that buzzes and says, “MOVE!” when I sit too long. Some days I need a spiritual reminder as well, and I’m guessing you do too. Go ahead; take five; and stand up, stand up for Jesus!

Prank Caller, Prank Caller…Hang Up!

If you lived in the 90’s, you may remember the “Jerky Boys.” They became famous by prank calling people while using voices and characters they had invented. They recorded the calls, got them played on the Howard Stern show, and eventually sold over 8 million copies of their albums.

Recently, pranksters known as “The Russian Jerky Boys,” have taken it to a whole new level – prank-calling heads of state! They successfully prank called Senator John McCain and Elton John. Their latest victim is Energy Secretary, Rick Perry.

In a 22-minute call, Rick Perry thought he was discussing cyber hacking and biofuel with Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman. They discussed deals on coal exports, fuel innovation, and the Paris accord. But it was all a lie – jokesters masquerading as Ukrainian officials.

No one likes to be fooled. It is embarrassing. And sometimes it can be more than just a joke – it can be downright disastrous.

The Bible tells us to watch out for those pretending to be something they aren’t. Specifically, the Apostle Paul warns:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Did you catch that? Satan masquerades as an angel of light. And so do false teachers!

So what’s a person to do? How can we know what is true? How do we avoid being duped by a “prank caller” with eternal consequences?

John gives a simple solution: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And how do we do that? By comparing God’s Word against the things we are told by all teachers and preachers (Acts 17:11).

Want to avoid prank calls? Check the number. Want to avoid false teachers? Check the Word.