Praying for Rain

I first saw the news yesterday that governor of Georgia was going to lead a prayer for rain. I only briefly glanced over it; if I thought of it at all, it was to remark to myself that it’s probably only a photo op to appease his votors, or if he’s sincere, a passing wonder if an answered prayer for rain was within God’s will.

But today, the news is different. The mere act of praying, now, violates the imaginary separation of church and state. The protestor is disgruntled because the governor is praying “in the name of Georgia.” Bah. There’s a lunatice so concerned he might accidentally receive a blessing from God that he’s going to protest that somebody is praying for rain.

Do me a favor today, would you? Pray for rain for the devout people of Georgia. Pray that the rain will show the mighty hand of our Lord at work in our world. And if you’re a government employee, please make sure to pray in the name of the local, state, or U.S. government agency that you work for. (There’s probably a government form for rain prayers somewhere but I don’t have time to look it up.)

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Living With Leukemia

Amy chronicled her battle with leukemia, and showed how to fight the battle with a warm, loving, patient, Christian heart. We will all go to be with our Lord someday; Amy’s day was yesterday. You can read her entire battle from Amy’s first post

I wholly believe my journey through leukemia began from the foundations of the earth. The Lord has had this fully written in His plan for my life. Though we will never know the exact moment a single cell of my DNA acquired a problem, the doctors feel my body has been under attack for months. As I look back, I see the many ways God has been preparing us for this — He has truly gone before, and for that I must be grateful.

through the struggle

With that on my mind I’ve been trying to focus on the Cross instead of wallowing in self-pity. And believe me, I have my moments. I’ve been struggling especially with my nursing staff lately. I talked to the doctor about it yesterday morning and just about threw something when once again I was assigned the troublesome nurse that night. For the third night in a row. So I fought self again last night, got in the shower, and found out my hair is definitely falling out. So I cried. Again. And felt sorry for myself, again. And then I made myself start to sing praises. I told Brandon sometimes when I start singing I don’t feel like it at all. But somewhere along the way my worship becomes genuine, and God draws near, or feels near, I know He is always near regardless of my emotions. I started thinking about the Cross, and how much my Savior suffered for me. And how He has gone before me in even what I view to be my most ultimate suffering. I had pain from a bone marrow biopsy, He had nails driven into His hands and feet. I am losing my hair — painlessly, yet His was torn from his head by those who mocked Him. How can I complain about these momentary trials, when He has suffered so for me? I fell asleep pondering these things.

to the last from her husband Brandon,

As someone else said on another blog when their dear one passed away, I never knew one could be at so much peace and have such a broken heart at the same time.

when Amy went to see our Creator.

I can’t begin to offer her family the right words of comfort, but I can help share Amy’s story. I think she would have liked that.

Living with Leukemia

*via Rocks in My Dryer

Michael Vick: Where is Jesus?

Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback, has been all over the news recently. Indicted for dog-fighting, his friends turning witness against him, loss of his quarterback position and the millions of dollars in signing bonuses and advertising deals, Michael Vick has certainly learned a hard and probably one-way lesson. And given the atrocious stories about how the losing dogs were killed, Michael Vick has few supporters anywhere standing up for him.

So Michael Vick pled guilty. The first news snippets indicated that perhaps the Lord was working in Vick’s life – and those of us that have had the Lord work on us know that the Lord does not discriminate on the basis of wealth, race, upbringing, whatever. If the Lord is going to use you in a powerful way, first He will break you from your dependence on anything except Him. Moses, David, Jesus… everybody goes through it. So when I first started hearing that Michael Vick had “found Jesus,” I started to pay attention.

But the Houston Chronicle makes absolutely no mention of Michael Vick turning his life over to Christ. Did I imagine it? Were they just rumors? The Chronicle captures the guilty plea, the apology, the full acceptance of his actions and the negative effect he’s had on those who followed him as a role model. What happened to the “Jesus” reference?

I searched for the full text of Michael Vick’s statement and found it on USA Today. It includes this –

I’m upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that’s the right thing to do as of right now.

For Christians, this is the most redeeming part of the Michael Vick story. Why does the Houston Chronicle delete this reference? Is it because they think it’s unimportant? Then they do not understand the bible belt they publish in. Or worse, did the Houston Chronicle intentionally leave it out?

Why is the fact that Michael Vick said he’s given his life to Jesus left out of the Houston Chronicle’s story?

Christian Carnival CLXXXVI

Christian Carnival #186 is up… here! Chasing the Wind is humbled to host the Carnival this week. Without further ado, here are this week’s best Christian blogging.

Oh wait, here’s a little more ado. I’ve divided this week’s post in sections with a brief description about how this relates to Christian living. Ok, *now* we’re out of ado…

CHRIST. No Christian blogging would be complete without pondering our Lord and Savior and what He means to us. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Doug presents Christ at Creation posted at Bounded Irrationality. Doug examines how Jesus could be present as man and God before creation.

This week at Light Along the Journey John considers what is exactly The Right Thing to Say.

JR Madill presents The Public Spectacle posted at Theology for the Masses.

CHRISTIAN LIFE. It’s one thing to study and pray (well, ok, that was two things), but it’s another thing entirely to live the Christian life. How do you apply and think and live as a Christian?

Patricia presents 30 Ways to Instantly be a Better Parent posted at A Better You Blog.

Stretch Mark Mama presents Passing on Perspective posted at Stretch Mark Mama.

Chad Dalton at The Minor Prophet considers Abraham’s Tradition. Thoughts on Abraham’s burial of his wife Sarah.

Jody Neufeld presents The John Webb Winter Golf Tournament posted at Jody Along the Path. Reflecting on the experience of coordinating this event that raises money for children hospitalized with serious illnesses.

blue skelton presents Simpsons Porn, Funny or Immoral? posted at Production Blog. An article that asks, Is it still a sin to watch pornography if it is a cartoon. We are looking for a other Christian’s Viewpoint on this issue.

BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER. While the glory of the cosmos practically scream out the power and majesty of a creator, to truly know *the* Creator requires study so that God’s Word can speak to you, and it requires prayer so that you can speak to God.

William Meisheid presents Wholistic Salvation posted at Beyond The Rim…. An attempt to look at salvation in a more wholistic [sic] manner.

Ian Spencer presents Dispensationalism and the Interpretation of Scripture Part 2: Prophetic Literature posted at Philosophical Orthodoxy. The second part of a continuing series critiquing dispensationalist methods of interpreting Scripture.

Richard H. Anderson presents Assembly of Yahweh posted at dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos Theophilos.

Tom presents The Remarkable 19th Psalm posted at Thinking Christian. With our modern Christian and scientific viewpoints, we might easily fail to notice what this psalm does not say. It’s an appreciation of the sun, a joyful one at that. And yet–there is not a hint of sun-worship in it. Remarkable.

Ann Shorb presents GOD HAS ME posted at Christian Counseling & Educational Services.

Henry Neufeld presents St. John Chrysostom on Hebrews 6 posted at Participatory Bible Study Blog. St. John Chrysostom gives a comprehensive and interesting view of Hebrews 6:4-6 and the impossibility of restoration for the apostate.

Lingamish: The Lord of
Rage
Somebody’s knocking at the door. But it’s not who you think.
Lingamish looks at Nahum’s vision of an angry God and finds a hidden place of
safety.

CHURCH. When two or more are gathered in His name, He is there. As a group of Christians, we are the bride of Christ, His church. What do we believe and how to we implement it?

FMF presents How'd You Like to Be Taxed for Going to Church? posted at Free Money Finance. How would you like to pay a tax to go to church?

Steven Krager presents Have you lost faith? | faithdoubt posted at faithdoubt. This is a posting in response to an article about an LA Times writer and his Christian faith journey. It is about problems in the Church and losing faith.

Diane R presents Deacons posted at Crossroads: Where Faith and Inquiry Meet. What are deacons exactly? And why don’t most churches have them? What are they supposed to do? In my church we have one of the best deacon structures I’ve ever seen so our church members won’t fall through the cracks when in need.

Brian Russell of the Real Meal blog
wrote Thinking about
Natural Disasters
. In the middle of another hurricane season, it is critical for clear theological reflection on natural disasters and the preparation for a missional response to those who suffer.

RELIGION. Sometimes we study what a Christian is. How does it differ from other religions? How do we see it in public, in politics, in others?

Sammy Benoit presents Islamic Hatred of anything Christian posted at YID With LID.

thomas robey presents “Christian Faith and Reason” posted at Hope for Pandora. “Christian Faith and Reason” is a new magazine that seeks to engage Christians and skeptics on topics of science, politics and faith. The Christian blogging community should check it out and consider contributing a piece for publication.

Ali presents An alternate solution to the American Civil War? posted at Kiwi and an Emu.. Considering, many years too late, how Christians in Northern and Southern parts of the United States could have agreed on the subject of slavery.

Weekend Fisher at Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength discusses Security, Apostasy, and Knowing Christ. A Lutheran’s-eye view of the debates over eternal security and whether apostasy is real, and how Christ is often left out of the debate.

John presents Richard Land and Moral Agency posted at Brain Cramps for God. There’s a new meme in the abortion argument.

Jeremy Pierce presents Barack Obama on faith and politics posted at Parableman. A look at Barack Obama’s thoughts on faith and politics, Part III of a three-part series (the first two looked at John Edwards and Joe Biden).

Mark Olson presents Western Eyes posted at Pseudo-Polymath. Religious toleration, a artifact of the Enlightenment, or might it not be from much earlier.

Christian Carnival CLXXVIII

Christian Carnival 178 is up at … Chasing the Wind! I have the honor of hosting this week’s carnival, affectionately known as Christian Carnival 178, 2^89th, hexadecimal B2, or binary 10110010. Whew, and I think there were almost that many entries.
🙂

They’re presented here in roughly the order submitted; if you’re a blog author and you don’t see you entry, I’ll be happy to modify the list below. I had to exclude 1 entry from this week’s Carnival; while “positive” in nature, it didn’t represent a Christian viewpoint. And I excluded two humanistic, scientific anti-Christian blogs for obvious reasons.
😛

if you’re a visitor and curious about Carnival entries, click on a few and read this week’s best Christian blogging.

Chris Byrd

Chris ByrdChris Byrd, IBF Heavyweight Boxing Champion, was at our church this weekend and briefly shared his firm belief in Jesus Christ with us. He was funny, too. “First, I beat them up, then I pray with them.”

I admire a man who is in the public spotlight that openly proclaims his faith and thought I’d express a note of appreciation.

Benny Henderson Jr.: You are very open with your beliefs. How does your faith in Christ play in your career?

Chris Byrd: Oh, it is major, my faith in Christ is just huge, it is everything. It is my first love then it is my wife and then my kids. I give all my praises to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ because he allowed me to be in this heavyweight division to represent him. And I represent him as champ because it is more exposure I get to represent Christ even more. This isn’t about me it is about him. And people may love it or lump it, but this is who I am and while I am here this is my mission field to let Jesus shine and let him get all the glory and praise.

Sign of the Cross

Disclaimer: I am not God. Any judgemental statements are purely a result of my own hypocritical sinful nature. I know not who goes to heaven save me for the grace of God.

That said, I’m looking for some sort of explanation. Why do… um… (heathens? Lite-Christians? Words fail.) wear a cross around their neck? Is it purely a fashion thing? And if so, why is it a fashion thing?

There’s a story this week about a couple, Trevor Blake and Nicola Fitzgerald, who were on a a British Airways flight from England to Jamaica. They drank quite a bit, had sex (twice) in the airplane restroom, then became loud and boisterous and beligerant enoguh to force the plane to be diverted to Bermuda where they were handcuffed.

This post is not so much about them, though, as it is about their picture.Trevor Blake and Nicola Fitzgerald

I’m going to repeat my disclaimer, for what it’s worth. If they want to be an unmarried, drinking, boisterous couple that has sex in public restrooms on an airplane, that’s not my business. But why wear a cross around your neck that reminds us of the sacrifice of my Lord and Savior? Is it really necessary to drag His image through the mud as well?

The Christian faith is clear about many things – we can disagree on doctrine or application, but the basics are clear. Put your faith in Jesus, obey His word. By your words and actions show your faith to others.

I’m pretty sure the heavy drinking, beligerant and threatening behavior, and a bit of fornicating in the bathroom doesn’t match up with the lifestyle Christ calls us to lead. Living a repropate lifestyle and wearing a cross around your neck – what’s that all about?

Is it a fashion statement? Is it a thumbing of the nose at Christ? Why do people wear a cross if they are not following Christ?