Friday, August 31, 2007


John MacArthur wrote, “If you want to know how user-friendly a church has become, the emphasis, or de-emphasis, on biblical preaching is the yardstick. A church that buys into the new paradigm sidelines provocative and convicting sermons for music, skits, or videos– less confrontational mediums for conveying the message. Even when there is a sermon, it is frequently psychological and motivational rather than biblical. Above all, entertainment value and user-friendliness are paramount.”
It is said that Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman told of a distinguished minister, Dr. Howard, from Australia who preached very strongly on the subject of sin. After the service, one of the church officers came to counsel with him in the study. "Dr. Howard," he said, "we don't want you to talk as openly as you do about man's guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin. "The minister took down a small bottle and showing it to the visitor and said, "You see that label? It says strychnine -- and underneath in bold, red letters the word 'Poison!' Do you know, man, what you are asking me to do? You are suggesting that I change the label. Suppose I do, and paste over it the words, 'Essence of Peppermint'; don't you see what might happen? Someone would use it, not knowing the danger involved, and would certainly die. So it is, too, with the matter of sin. The milder you make your label, the more dangerous you make your poison!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Testing the faith

Christians are called to labour in a unique way for the Lord, but are we sensitive to His calling, or are we too concerned only with our own affairs? Giving out Gospel tracts becomes a federal case: 67-year-old man jailed 2 days for violating 'parade' ordinance - WorldNetDaily

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pressured to cover up

When the weather warms up, the clothing at church gets skimpier. Pop stars that visit Muslim-majority Malaysia are facing growing pressure to keep skimpy outfits and steamy dance moves off the stage during their concerts. Malaysia’s government guidelines for public performances require a female artist to cover up from the top of her chest to her knees, including her shoulders.
Modesty is a natural tendency to guard what is most personal and demands a delicate education. Modesty is not the result of social conditioning we do not have to be liberated from it. By teaching our children not to be dishonest we are not in any way restricting their freedom or traumatizing them. We are helping them to learn right from wrong. In the same way a child needs to be educated in modesty."Why can't the Church at least try to reclaim modesty as a virtue? I came across an article by Barbara Kay; she expressed exactly how I feel about the issue.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Florida's School Systems

National studies show that parental and community involvement alone cannot turn around a school system. That requires an effective corps of teachers, principals and other leaders.
A new pay-for-performance program for Florida's teachers, which tied raises and bonuses directly to pupils’ standardized-test scores, was introduced last year.
Teachers unions and some education experts say any effort to evaluate teachers exclusively on test-score improvements will not work, because schools are not factories and their output is not so easily measured. An exam, they say, cannot measure how much teachers have inspired students, or whether they have instilled in them a lifelong curiosity. Moreover, some critics say, the explicit profit motive could overshadow teacher-student relationships.
A study by the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, a research group in Texas, noted that school systems with highly involved teachers and parents can expect higher test scores and better behavior. What do you say?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hurricane Dean

Fiercely powerful Hurricane Dean strafed Jamaica's southern coast on Sunday, littering the capital of Kingston with fallen trees and windblown roofs. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller urged all Jamaicans to unite in the face of this adversity. Jamaica, a country of 4,411 square miles, is 146 miles long and 51 miles wide.
The Commissioner of Police of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service gives notice of the placement of a curfew for all areas within the islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Grand Cayman, in physical size, is approximately 4 miles wide and 22 miles long. Of the approximately 40,000 people living in the Cayman Islands, nearly 38,500 live in Grand Cayman. The other two islands, Cayman Brac (pop. 1,200) and Little Cayman (pop. 300) are located about 80 miles northeast of Grand Cayman and just five miles from each other.
Pray for those who have been affected by hurricane Dean.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Faith or laziness

I heard about a man who bought an expensive automobile he couldn't afford because he said the Lord would come before the first payment was due and he wouldn't have to pay anything.
In verse 11 of I Thessalonians 5, Paul specifies the problem. "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." Some members of the church of Thessalonica were guilty of laziness. They were not working. I think one of the reasons why this kind of problem arose is because some of them mistook the meaning of the second coming of the Lord as an excuse for them to lay aside their labor and not be faithful in their work.
One of the things you will find in the Bible is that the Christian life is a very down-to-earth faith. It is a very down-to-earth way of living your life. It deals with practical matters. It deals with subjects that are very, very important. The Scriptures make it very clear that laziness should never be a part of a Christian's life. A Christian should not be a lazy individual.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Name it and claim it

In three of the Gospels, Jesus warns that each of his disciples may have to "deny himself" and "take up his Cross." "For what profit is it to a man," he asks, "if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" It is one of the New Testament's hardest teachings, yet generations of church goers have understood that being Christian, on some level, means being ready to sacrifice--money or even their lives. "Prosperity" first blazed to public attention as the drive shaft in the money making machine that was the 1980s televangelism and faded from mainstream view with scandals. But now, after some key modifications, it has not only recovered but is booming.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How to Spot a Spiritual Huckster

Because scam artists know the vocabulary to use with Christian people, investors, including pastors get caught into these investments with the intention of raising money for church projects, aiding the poor or for other charitable reasons. How can Christians become “wise as serpents” while remaining “harmless as doves”?

How to Spot a Spiritual Huckster
By Doug Trouten
He says you can make a fortune ... and help God's kingdom at the same time. Problem is, you can't take anything he says to the bank.
Guys like to think they're financially savvy. We may not hunt wild boar, but we still bring home the bacon, and we feel a real man understands T-bills as well as T-birds. But unless you actually work in the field, it's hard to keep up on the ins and outs of investing.
So, when somebody tells us that God has told him or her how to make us rich, it's tempting to believe them. We may even have pure motives, figuring that good investments will let us give more to God's work. Only later when we discover that our Christian financial counselor is living large on our cash do we realize that we've been had by a spiritual huckster…………
continue with "How to Spot a Spiritual Huckster"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Will we ever learn

Huge Ponzi scheme alleged
VesCor Capital and owner Val Southwick are the subjects of state and federal investigations, according to documents in federal bankruptcy court and in ... (article attached)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

God Is Not Responsible

I came across this article “God Is Not Responsible” and I thought about Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Read Philippians Chapter 4). Paul begins by saying, "Now Philippians, I want you to understand. Things are not what they seem to be. Imagine a prisoner, soon to be tried for his life, should not only rejoice but encourage others to rejoice.
Paul understood that there is a difference between "joy" and "happiness." A person can be happy and not have real joy. A person can have joy but not really be happy. Happiness depends on circumstances and happenings! If things go well, I can be happy! If things do not go well, there goes my happiness! JOY does not depend on circumstances, JOY depends on the LORD, and He never changes! Even though Paul’s circumstances were terrible (he was a prisoner!), he could rejoice.
We cannot always count on things happening the way we would like them to happen, but we can always count on God being God no matter what happens. Suppose you get in your car to drive to the beach and 10 miles from home you get into a minor accident and end up spending the whole day in the repair shop. Does this mean God has changed? Have God’s promises changed? Is God able to teach you and bless you in the middle of these circumstances?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Have you been to the grocery store lately?

Have you been to the grocery store lately? If you have, you’ve no doubt noticed the cost of food. Wholesale food prices rose nearly 8 percent in the six months ending in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index.
Low-income U.S. consumers spend a much greater proportion of their income on food than high-income consumers do. Their large share combined with less flexibility to adjust expenditures in other budget areas means that any increase in food prices will cause hardship.
Consumers have more power than they realise, they really do have the power to send a message all the way through that complicated supply chain. If the message is frequent, loud and consistent enough, then they can actually change practices.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Just Dreaming

Today, I am dreaming about being a Part time Event Photographers. Although I am employed full time I probably could shoot a few weddings a year on weekends.
But what exactly do they do: Photographers produce and preserve images that paint a picture, tell a story, or record an event such as wedding receptions, parties, galas, fundraisers, and all sorts of celebrations.
How could I break in: Building a good portfolio is essential to landing jobs in this field but since I don’t have training in photography, I probably could take some classes and try to land a job as a photographer’s assistant. I could also develop contacts in the field by subscribing to photographic newsletters and joining a camera club.
What does it pays: $20.00 - $25.00/hour (average salary) not bad for Part time.

Monday, August 6, 2007


A number of Christian groups teach what they call “standards.” Standards, they say, are practical applications of the biblical principles of holiness. Some also suggest that Christian women shouldn’t wear jewelry.
Should Christian women wear make-up or jewelry? Should they care about their physical appearance?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

More black women going for white guys

Not many years ago interracial marriage was illegal in many states. It was locked in prejudicial religious beliefs based on the Bible. The National census data showed 117,000 black wife-white husband couples in 2006, up from 95,000 in 2000. There were just 26,000 such couples in 1960. (See the Article More black women going for white guys )
Some churches have a policy forbidding interracial dating and marriage. Is this policy biblical? Should we have such a policy in the church today?


Today Sunday, August 5, 2007 Pastor Leeroy and Juliette Fagan along with their three children and grandchild from the Cayman Islands visited our church. I have known the Fagan family for over twenty years. I have a lot of good memories of the Cayman Islands. The Memories of relationships stay with us forever.
The origin of this poem is unknown, but I hope that you will be encouraged.

To realize the value of a sister (or Brother): Ask someone who doesn't have one.
To realize the value of ten years: Ask a newly divorced couple.
To realize the value of four years: Ask a graduate.
To realize the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize the value of nine months: Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
To realize the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one minute: Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one-second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.
To realize the value of a friend or family member: LOSE ONE.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Life's Lessons

Another e-mail I received on life's lessons.

Lessons life has taught me...
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48 If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cyber banks

Give me the choice between a smiling face and half a percent interest or no smiling face and 5 percent interest and I will select the 5 percent. A cyberbank can operate anywhere in the world, moving digital. Currency or “e-money” from electronic home to electronic home.
The Best Cyberbanks
These online banks are tops for their savings and checking accounts, ease of use and access to funds. From Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, February 2007
HSBC Direct
Annual percentage yield: 5.05%
Why it's the best: Quick customer service, an ATM card, a $1 minimum balance and typically one of the highest yields make this online savings account the one to keep.
Direct percentage yield: 4.50%
Why it's simplest: ING Direct's streamlined Web site and four-step application are painless for even a Luddite. With no minimums and no monthly fees, ING Direct set the standard that other online banks follow (or should).
E*Trade Financial
Annual percentage yield: 5.05%
Why it's the best: The most inconvenient aspect of online savings is the lag when you deposit money. It can average up to five days to clear a transaction after the initial deposit. But E*Trade users can access deposits on the same day.
Annual percentage yield: Ranges from 3.25% for balances of less than $10,000 to 4.41% for $100,000 or more.
Why it's the best: EverBank treats checking almost like savings. You need a minimum of $1,500 to open an account and enjoy an introductory rate of 6.01% for the first three months before it goes down to the market rate.
Why it's the best: Interest rates and features change daily. This is a fast way to compare the full range of standard bank offerings as well.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Lessons in Life

Someone e-mailed me these words of encouragement that I would like to share with you. See below:
I've learned that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I've learned that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I've learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. The same goes for true love.
I've learned that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I've learned that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I've learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I've learned that you can keep going long after you can't.
I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I've learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I've learned that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I've learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I've learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
I've learned that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
I've learned that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them, and less to do with how many years you have lived.
I've learned that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I've learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I've learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I've learned that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.
I've learned that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I've learned that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.
I've learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
I've learned that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
I've learned that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I've learned that the people you care about most in life are sometimes taken from you too soon.

Working hard to live well

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 238 job types that it officially qualifies as "blue collar," from masons and aircraft mechanics pulling in close to $30 per hour to baggage porters and bellhops making about one-quarter of that. They combine to provide about 22 million American jobs, or approximately 15% of the workforce.
Those who have developed the skills necessary for the best blue-collar jobs -- largely mechanics, installers and equipment operators -- find they're doing better than the average American, no matter the color of the collar. The average pay for the top 10 blue-color jobs is just over $27 per hour. Figuring 40 hours per week for 52 weeks per year, annual income adds up to $56,347, or 30% more than the U.S. median income of $43,318, according to the Census Bureau. Search job listings on MSN Careers
Top 10 best-paying blue-collar jobs
Public transit attendant $62,088
Longshore equipment operators $58,198
Brickmasters and stonemasons $57,200
Power plant operators $56,472
Locomotive operations $56,347
Aircraft engine mechanics $55,494
Electrical power installers and repairers $55,390
Mining occupations $54,704
Oil well driller $53,227
Telephone line installer/repairer $52,478

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