My roommate and I cut off the cable about a year ago, so when it comes to reality television, I'm frankly behind the times. Which is why I was surprised to hear that, about six months ago, Survivor producer Mark Burnett announced plans to launch a reality show featuring America's most famous mega-church pastor, Joel Osteen.
Of course, my brain initially went to visions of the Osteen children battling it out for attention like the Kardashian sisters, but apparently the premise is more in line with feel-good hits like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Reports are mixed as to what the show will actually be about. CBS News reports that the show will follow the mission trips of members of Osteen's Houston, Texas, mega-church, Lakewood Church. According to an article from Entertainment Weekly, the show, tentatively named Pack Your Bags, would send volunteers to "a surprise destination to try and make a difference in other people’s lives." More Here...
I am really embarrassed to admit this, but when I picture myself as a pregnant woman in a doctoral program, I long to be like Elizabeth Banks’ character on 30 Rock, Avery. In case you’re unfamiliar with the show, Avery is the girlfriend (later wife) of Alec Baldwin’s character, Jack. She is a kick-butt news correspondent who has her entire life under control. She wakes up every morning at the crack of dawn to run, eats exactly 1200 calories a day, and is so organized that her closet has been featured in magazines. She is a take-no-prisoners kind of gal.
Then, she discovers that she is unexpectedly pregnant. For just a moment she wavers in her confidence, but Jack encourages her to push forward and she rises to the challenge. She resolves to dominate pregnancy and motherhood the way she does everything else in her life. And she does.
I really want to be like that. I also suspect some people look at me and assume I am like that. A lot of friends have expressed amazement that I have pushed through my coursework without missing a beat, even amidst the crazy physical changes of pregnancy. My husband often tells people I am like Superwoman. More Here...
Good morning, readers! Today is Sunday, and that means that Christians all around the world are gathering together at local churches to worship God, listen to valuable teaching and spend time with one another. It's a great day for you to join your local church, and we here at Revelife hope you will be able to attend a service in your town today.
But we also know that there are many who can't make it to church today. If you, like so many, are on vacation this weekend, you might not get the chance to visit your regular church. We also know people who are sick and injured who can't get out of the house today to be at church. We know we can't fully replace the local church, but we hope we can still provide you with engaging worship and thoughtful teaching this morning.
Today, Jeff Henderson will be concluding his current sermon series, Climate Change, at North Point Community Church. We all know climate is a powerful part of nature, but many of us also know that climate exists in relationships. Depending on the people in the relationship, the climate can be very stormy. As Jeff wraps up the series today, he asks us to consider whether certain relationships are worth the effort of attempting climate change in the first place.
Last weekend Ike and I were in North Carolina where he officiated the wedding of a friend. While there, we decided to attend a little church down the road for Sunday morning worship. The pastor’s sermon title was “Your Personal Worldview,” and the subject matter kind of ranged all over. However, one of his main take-home points was this: We live in a world that wants everything to be grey, but the truth of the Bible is black and white.
For this pastor, “black and white” equated with Gospel faithfulness, whereas “grey thinking” meant compromise.
On the one hand, I can see where he is coming from. One of the main attributes of post-modernism is the rejection of concrete “Truth with a capital T.” Post-modernism is deeply uncomfortable with any fact that would claim to be universal, and we see this mentality everywhere: There is no right model of family, marriage, sexual orientation, career choice, or general lifestyle. Whatever works for you, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, is acceptable.
Living in a culture of such great pluralism, it is easy to understand why the pastor came to the conclusion he did. More Here...
There are three sides to every argument. 'My side', 'your side', and the way Jesus sees it.
Whose side is the truthful side? Normally the sides that are not Jesus’ are full of facts that selfishly uplift the speaker and put down the other. But how many arguments are out there in which the speaker will own up to their mistakes? Jesus will easily notice that one uplifts himself before they will own up to their mistakes. That is dishonesty.
Don't be giving your side to make yourself look better. Tell it as it truly happened. Make your side equal to the side that Jesus has. More Here...
Too often Christians (in my experience) stand against things such as porn on a strictly moral basis. That is, they abstain from looking at, purchasing, or involving themselves with porn in any way, and discourage others from the same because porn is immoral. It is sex out of the proper context in which God has deemed it appropriate, upstanding, good, and thus it is inappropriate, immoral, and bad. For these Christians porn is strictly a moral issue and it is only wrong because God deemed it not right. It is improper behavior and taints the individual in a spiritual (or at least invisible) way.
It's true that porn is a moral issue. Sex and its relation to its God-given context is a moral issue to be sure. However, we fool ourselves if our only argument against porn - to both ourselves and the world around us - is merely moral and neglects the injustice involved. Porn is not merely a private issue but a public and social issue. It is an issue of morality and justice (the two should never be separated in the first place).*
We are constantly afraid of the world seeing our brokenness and our mistakes. Even though the world will judge us, their judgment does not matter. Only God has the actual ability to judge us because He is perfect. Not even His angels can judge us, even though they are always with God.
The only human that can judge us is also God; Jesus. He came here and led a sinless life and died with no sins of His own but with the sins of every one that was and is to come. Jesus is our judge; The Ultimate Judge. He does not give out parole or community service or even jail time. He gives you a home in heaven to hang out with him for eternity, or your own special room in hell with the devil for eternity. His judgment is perfect, because He is with us. He hears us. He sees us. He feels us. He helps us. He talks to us. He is all around us and always in us.
Why are we worried about what the world thinks and not about what God thinks? God does not have to think anything about your life; instead, God knows everything about your life and all that you are dealing with. Worry about His judgment and not the world's because the world’s judgment is almost never ‘final’. But God's can never be reversed. More Here...