Friday, March 30, 2012

What do Angels Look Like

What do Angels Look Like

Like the little old lady who returned your wallet yesterday.

Like the taxi driver who told you that your eyes light up the world, when you smile.

Like the small child who showed you the wonder in simple things.

Like the poor man who offered to share his lunch with you.

Like the rich man who showed you that it really is all possible, if only you believe.

Like the stranger who just happened to come along, when you had lost your way.

Like the friend who touched your heart, when you didn’t think you had one.

Angels come in all sizes and shapes, all ages and skin types.

Some with freckles, some with dimples, some with wrinkles, some without.

They come disguised as friends, enemies teachers, students, lovers and fools.

They don’t take life too seriously, they travel light.

They leave no forwarding address, they ask nothing in return.

They are hard to find when your eyes are closed, but when you choose to see, they are everywhere you look.

So, open you eyes and count all your Angels — for you are truly blessed!
Submitted by Kay McCrary

Monday, March 26, 2012

God's Desire and Your Decision

Success is becoming the person that God wants you to be. 

God DESIRES that you succeed in fulfilling His assignment for your life. 

However, you are the only one who can DECIDE whether you want to follow God's DESIRE. 

Your DECISION and God's DESIRE are two different things. 

If YOU are not progressing in your spiritual walk, fulfilling your God-given assignment and achieving success, you cannot blame God.

Rev Albert Kang

Friday, March 23, 2012

Contending With Horses

“How shall you contend with horses?” (Jeremiah 12:5)

Jeremiah, a young man facing opposition and growing increasingly impatient in the process, complained to the Lord about the injustice in life — the wicked prosper, and the righteous suffer, and God seems to sit back in silence. “Lord, I have a problem here – why do the wicked prosper, and the faithless always succeed?”

Have you ever wanted to say something to God along those lines? Before you do, you should hear how He answered young Jeremiah’s complaint.

“Jeremiah,” the Lord said, “if you get tired in a race against people, how can you possibly run against horses? And if you complain in fields of ease, what will happen when your encounter the high tides of the turbulent Jordan?”
There God goes again, speaking in riddles. What on earth does this mean? He is telling Jeremiah that tough times are ahead, and these present difficulties are only preparing him for the steeper climb. And the question God puts to him is the same we ourselves must answer in our ever darkening world.

And even though the wicked may seem to have it made now; in that day when their world comes crashing down around them, will you have what it takes to stand?

If we cannot handle the inconvenience of the smaller thing, then how shall we meet the challenge of the greater thing? If we stumble over that which is now before us, how shall we advance to that which is yet beyond us?

To be sure, the Lord wants us to make measured moves to greater levels of opportunity and responsibility, but the climb is beset with necessary challenges that can only be mounted by an unflinching faith. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. said, “Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.”

None but those who contend with horses.

Posted By James Ryle

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Knowing Your Enemies

Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
Matthew 12:22-24

Your enemies are not people who hate you but those who cannot be happy for your success. 

They try to devalue every good thing that God has blessed you with and only highlight your flaws and past sins. 

They are the ones who call the miracles of God that come through your ministry as the works of Beelzebub. 

Do not waste your time trying to explain your position to them. Stay focused on God's assignment for you and fulfill God's purpose in your life.

Associate with people who celebrate what God has blessed and made you to become and not with those who merely tolerate you.

Rev Albert Kang

Near-Death Experience in Hell Left Him a Changed Man

Atheist Professor's Near-Death Experience in Hell Left Him a Changed Man
Mark Ellis (March 14, 2012)

Then [Jesus] picked up Howard, like one football player picking up a fallen teammate on the field, put His arms around him, and Howard cried like a baby in His arms. "He carried me out of there and we headed to where God lives." Afterwards, Howard told his wife Heaven "was all love... you don't have to suffer anymore."

(Fort Thomas, KY)—Howard Storm and his wife Marcia are involved in missionary work in Belize. In excerpts from a God Report's article, reporter Mark Ellis writes the following about an amazing spiritual experience that changed Howard forever. It reads:

In some near-death experiences, people report they were drawn toward “the light.” But in this horrifying near-death experience for an atheist art professor, he was drawn into the darkness of hell, which dramatically altered the course of his life.

“I was a double atheist,” says Howard Storm, who became a tenured art professor at Northern Kentucky University by age 27.  “I was a know-it-all college professor, and universities are some of the most closed-minded places there are,” he notes.

On the last day of a three-week European art tour he led, his group had returned to their hotel in Paris after a visit to the artist Delacroix’s home and studio. As Howard stood in his room with his wife and another student, suddenly he screamed and dropped to the floor in agony.

“I had a perforation of the small stomach, known as the duodenum,” he recalls. At first, Howard thought he was shot, and he glanced around the room to see if he could spot a smoking gun. As he writhed in pain on the ground, kicking and screaming, his wife called for a doctor.

“They said I needed surgery immediately,” Howard says. “It’s like having a burst appendix. I was told that if they don’t get to it within five hours, you’re probably going to die.”

Howard had the misfortune of a falling ill on a Saturday in a country with socialized medicine, and no doctor could be found. “French doctors do seven surgeries a week, and after they do the seven surgeries, they take the weekend off,” he discovered.

They placed him on a bed without sheets or a pillow and offered no pain medication. He waited in the room for 10 hours. “I was just lying there going south,” Howard says. Meanwhile, intestinal contents were leaking into his abdominal cavity, which would soon lead to peritonitis, septic shock and certain death.

At 8:30 p.m. a nurse came in and said they were still unable to find a doctor, but they would try to find one the next day, Sunday.

“I had been struggling very hard to stay alive, but when she said there was no doctor, I knew it was time to stop fighting,” Howard says.

Yet the thought of death scared him. “I was terrified of dying because it meant lights out, the end of the story,” he notes. “It seemed horrible that at 38-years-old, when I felt powerful and successful in my life, it would all come to an end in such a ridiculously pitiful way.”

Howard made an impassioned farewell to his wife, and told her to tell their friends and the rest of his family goodbye. Then he lost consciousness.

It wasn’t long after he lost consciousness that he had a very unusual out-of-body experience, and found himself standing next to his bed, looking at himself lying there. As he stood there, he noticed he didn’t feel the pain in his stomach. He felt more alive than ever, and his senses seemed more heightened than usual.

He tried to communicate with his wife and another man in the room, but they didn’t respond, which frustrated him. “I was glad I didn’t have the pain, but also I was very confused and disturbed by the situation.”

“I saw my body lying on the bed, but I refused to believe it was me. How could that be me if I was standing there,” he wondered.

Suddenly he heard people outside the room calling for him by name. They spoke English, without a French accent, which seemed strange, because everyone in the hospital either spoke French or heavily accented English.

“Come with us,” they said. “Hurry up, let’s go.”

Howard went to the doorway. “Are you from the doctor?” he asked. “I need to have surgery. I’m sick and I’ve been waiting a long time.”

“We know all about you,” one said. “We’ve been waiting for you. It’s time for you to go. Hurry up.”

Howard left the room and started to walk with them down a long hallway, which was very dimly lit – almost dingy. “They took me on a very long journey through a grey space that got increasingly darker and darker,” he recalls.

They walked a long time, and Howard wondered why he was not tired when he had just suffered the worst day of his life.

“Where are we going? Howard asked. “How come it’s taking so long? What is the doctor’s name?”

“Shut up,” one said. “Be quiet,” another said. “Don’t ask questions.”

Howard’s fear and apprehension grew at the same time he lost trust in his guides. “Finally it was so dark I was terrified and I said, ‘I’m not going any farther. I want to go back.”

“You’re almost there,” one replied.

Howard dug in his heels. “I’m not going any farther,” he said firmly.

A Fight Ensues
His guides began to push and pull at him. Howard fought back, but he was horribly outnumbered.

“We had a big fight and the fight turned into them annihilating me, which they did slowly and with much relish,” he says. “Mostly they were biting and tearing at me. This went on for a long time. They did other things to humiliate and violate me which I don’t talk about.”

When Howard was no longer “amusing” to them, he collapsed on the ground, ripped apart, unable to move.

He lay there motionless for a few moments, completely spent. Then he was surprised by a small voice inside his head that said, ‘Pray to God.’

He thought, ‘I don’t pray. I don’t even believe in God.’

Then he heard the voice a second time, ‘Pray to God.’

‘But I wouldn’t know how to pray even if I wanted to pray,’ he thought. Whose voice was this, he wondered? It sounded like his voice, but the words were completely foreign to his own thinking.

Then he heard the voice a third time repeat the same message. His mind drifted back to his days in Sunday school as a child. “I tried to remember things I memorized when I was very young,” he says. He struggled to think of something he could pray.

Then he managed to blurt out, “The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want…”

When the people around him heard his attempt to pray, they became enraged. “There is no God and nobody can hear you,” they cried, along with other obscenities. “If you keep praying we will really hurt you.”

But Howard noticed something curious. The more he prayed and began to mention God, the more they backed away from him.

Emboldened, he began to shout out bits and pieces of the Lord’s Prayer, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “God Bless America.” Finally, he was screaming any fragments of God’s truth he could muster from the moldy recesses of his memory bank.

It seemed to work! Even in the darkness, he could tell they had fled, but not too far away.

As he lay there, Howard began to review his life. “I came to the conclusion I led a crummy life and I had gone down the sewer pipe of the universe. I had gone into the septic tank with other human garbage. I was being processed by the garbage people into garbage like them.”

“Whatever life was supposed to be about, I missed it,” he thought. “What I received was what I deserved and the people who attacked me were people like me. They were my kindred spirits. Now I will be stuck with them forever.” Feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness filled his mind.

His thoughts floated back again to himself as a nine-year-old in Sunday School, “I remembered myself singing “Jesus Loves Me,” and I could feel it inside me. As a child, I thought Jesus was really cool and he was my buddy and he would take care of me.”

“But even if Jesus is real, why would he care about me? he thought. “He probably hates my guts. I’m not going to think anymore; I’m going to ask him.”

“I’ve got nothing else to lose. I’ll give Jesus a try.”

A Cry For Help
Then he yelled into the darkness, “Jesus, please save me!”

Within an instant, a brilliant light appeared that came closer and closer. He found himself bathed in a beautiful light, and for the first time he could clearly see his own body’s miserable condition, ghastly for his own eyes to behold. “I was almost all gore.”

Immediately he recognized Jesus, the King of Kings, the Rescuer, the Deliverer. “His arms reached down and touched me and everything healed up and came back together,” he recalls. “He filled me with a love I never knew existed.”

Then he picked up Howard, like one football player picking up a fallen teammate on the field, put his arms around him, and Howard cried like a baby in His arms. “He carried me out of there and we headed to where God lives.”

In his mind, Howard began to think that Jesus made a terrible mistake. “I’m garbage and I don’t belong in heaven,” he thought.

They stopped moving, and both Howard and Jesus were hanging in space, somewhere between heaven and hell. “We don’t make mistakes,” Jesus said tenderly.

“He could read everything in my mind and put His voice into my head,” Howard recalls. “We had very rapid, instantaneous conversations.”

Then Jesus told Howard He had angels who would show him his life. “It was a terrible experience because my life deteriorated after adolescence. I saw I became a selfish, unloving person. I was successful, a full tenured art professor at 27, the department head, but I was a jerk.”

In this replay, he saw his heavy drinking and adultery. “I cheated on my wife proudly. It was horrible.”

For the first time he realized the way he lived his life hurt Jesus. “I was in the arms of the most wonderful, holy, loving, kind person and we’re looking at this stuff. Embarrassing doesn’t even begin to describe it.”

As they watched together, Howard could see the pain and disappointment on the face of Jesus. “When I did these things it was like sticking a knife into his heart.”

“Do you have any questions?” Jesus asked.

“I have a million questions,” Howard replied, and proceeded to unburden himself of anything and everything he could imagine asking an omniscient being. Jesus answered Howard’s questions kindly and patiently.

When Howard couldn’t think of anything else to ask, he said, “I’m ready to go to heaven now.”

“You’re not going to heaven. You’re going back to the world,” Jesus replied.

Howard began to argue, but it was to no avail. Jesus told him to go back and live his life differently.

Going Back
At 9:00 p.m., Howard was back in his hospital room in Paris. Less than 30 minutes had elapsed since he lost consciousness.

As Howard opened his eyes, he heard the nurse say, “The doctor arrived at the hospital and you’re going to have the surgery.”

As they wheeled him out of his room on a gurney, he saw his wife in the hallway. “Everything is going to be really good now,” he said to her. When she heard him, she cried, thinking they were brave words.

When Howard emerged from surgery, with the effects of the anesthesia wearing off, he spoke to his wife. “It’s all love,” he told her. “You don’t have to suffer anymore.”

“You need to sleep,” she replied, thinking he was slightly addled from the drugs. Then he awakened again and began to tell her about Jesus and the angels and heaven and hell.

“She was an atheist and she didn’t like it. She thought I lost my mind.” Sadly, Howard’s marriage ended in divorce after she left him many years later.

When his strength returned, Howard began to devour the Bible. “Since none of my atheist friends believed me, I started memorizing verses and I would give them Bible lectures, but that didn’t go over very well,” he recalls.

He grew “desperate” for fellowship in a church, and began to attend Christ Church in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, part of United Church of Christ. Howard’s pastor worked with him patiently, and after three years, Howard was ordained as a lay minister in his church.

Sensing a deeper call into ministry, he attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio and later pastored a church in Covington, Ohio.

He also wrote a book about his experience, “My Descent Into Death,” which he says was written primarily to non-believers.

Howard and his wife, Marcia, a strong Christian, are both involved in missionary work in Belize. He maintains a passion for painting, with much of his art devoted to spiritual themes.

Mercy The Queen and Our Three Cats

Tabby Boy, Jellicle and Alaska having their meals
One of our three dogs, Mercy, has a possessive habit. The moment she has a bone in front of her, she will frighten Goodness and Danny away with her growl. After all, she is the queen or in Caesar Milan's words, "Leader of the Pack". From time to time, she charges and threatens the cats.

This morning, all three cats needed to come in for their meals. Mercy had her bone right at the front entrance. None of the cats dared to come in because her non-verbal was really dominant. Mercy had lowered her head and staring at the the three felines from the corners of her eyes. However, hunger beckoned and our fattest cat, Tabby Boy, who is the greediest of the three, tried to make a dash into the house. Mercy charged at him. Tabby Boy retreated with paws armed with claws.

Like a flash, I was in between the two animals and commanding Mercy to back off. Mercy might be the leader of the pack but I am the "Master of All".  Immediately, Mercy retreated and bowed down. I held my ground in between the 'gap' to keep the peace. All the cats then paraded boldly pass Mercy without any fear and went for their food.

As I was reflecting upon my action and those of the cats, I saw a spiritual comparison. We have the Lord. Every time, the devil tries to intimidate us, we cannot fight him with our own strength or authority. We may produce our 'claws' but they are quite limited in resisting the attack of the devil. We just have to back down and allow the Lord to step in. When Jesus is standing in between the 'gap', we can pass by safely. Jesus is indeed the Master of all!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

False Versus True Humility

False Versus True Humility

"Clothe yourself with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"1

Somewhat related to arm-twisting for God are those situations where somebody has a song, a poem, or an article they have written that they want to have published. They state clearly that it wasn't their creation but, rather, God gave it to them and they want him to have all the glory. I think that God sometimes, but not always, doesn't want the glory for some of these creations!

Writing in Christianity Today some time ago, Eutychus also felt that there are times when God gets more credit than he wants.

For example, "A boxer once credited the Lord for helping him punch his opponent into the Twilight Zone. Then there was the football player who made a diving, juggling catch in the end zone. His explanation of the stellar effort mentioned nothing about his speed, agility, coordination, and training: It was God who made that catch."

Humility has nothing to do with not appreciating what you have worked hard to achieve. Certainly, we want to thank God for the talents he has given us, but, among other things, genuine humility is being realistic about what you have achieved and being able to equally rejoice in another's achievements.

Furthermore, to claim God gave me a poem or an article as a means to get my creation accepted for publication isn't humility either. It's lying. I've written a few things in my life that have been published (and a few that have been rejected), and for whatever talent I may have been given, I give God the glory for that.

At the same time writing to be published for me is hard work and what I write about has mostly come from a lifetime of experiences, many of them very painful. This is probably true for most writers who have something of value to say. Yes, there are times of inspiration but mostly it's only about five percent inspiration and ninety-five percent perspiration. God may give us the five percent but the rest is up to us. He gives us the basic talent but it is our responsibility to be trained so that what we do say and write will hopefully bring glory to God. And that may be best left for others to judge.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I thank you for the gifts and talents you have given to me. Help me to be responsible with these gifts, develop them to the best of my ability, and use them truly for your glory. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Peter 5:5 (NIV).


By Dick Innes

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Do Not Touch The Lord's Anointed?

I'd like to share some thoughts with you about something which may have bothered us in the past...

The expression “do not touch the Lord’s anointed” is generally thought to originate from the grave situation which David faced with King Saul. Despite Saul’s repeated attempts to kill innocent David, he would not dare lay a hand on “the Lord’s anointed.”

“Do not touch the Lord’s anointed” therefore has been used countless times by self-proclaimed “anointed” ministers to deflect questions or criticism away from dubious actions or practices on their part. Let us examine whether or not the use of this expression is in fact scriptural.

Interestingly, the expression itself is not at all found in the five verses from 1 Samuel where David expresses his reluctance to lay a hand on King Saul.

1 Samuel 24:6  He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD."

1 Samuel 24:10  This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, 'I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the LORD's anointed.'

1 Samuel 26:9  But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD's anointed and be guiltless?

1 Samuel 26:11  But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go."

1 Samuel 26:23  The LORD rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD's anointed.

Rather, the expression originates from Psalm 105:15 (and 1 Chronicles 16:22) where there is in fact no reference to “the Lord’s anointed” but rather to “my anointed ones.”

Psalm 105:10-15  He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit." When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm."

Who are these “anointed ones”? The reference is to God’s people the Israelites whom He delivered from slavery in Egypt and led them through the wilderness to the Promised Land of Canaan forty years later. Indeed God protected His anointed ones from their enemies during their time in the wilderness and allowed no one to oppress them. By contrast, God did not protect His anointed one Saul, who along with his sons died a horrible death in battle at the hand of his enemies.

Therefore the current use of the expression “do not touch the Lord’s anointed” has been grossly misapplied by some ministers to exempt themselves from questions about their practices or behavior. When taken out of context, Scripture can become pretext.

In the New Testament, there are no “specially anointed” ministers whom God has raised up. There are certainly gifted ministers. But the word “anointed” is never used in the New Testament to refer to someone other than Christ Himself who can minister effectively to others in some special way.

Rather, in line with 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, the whole body of Christ consisting of all believers is anointed as God’s possession. It is consecrated and set apart as holy for God.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

This is entirely in line with the reference in Psalms where the Lord speaks of His people the Israelites as “my anointed ones.”

Therefore we should no longer allow “anointed ministers” to quote the expression “do not touch the Lord’s anointed” as a cover-up for their questionable teachings, practices and behaviors.

-William & Lucille Lau

Monday, March 5, 2012

Broken Windows

Broken Windows
A social scientist, James Q. Wilson was perhaps best known for his “broken windows” theory of law enforcement which laid the groundwork for crime-reduction programs in cities throughout the nation, beginning with New York.
In the 1980's, New York City was in the grip of one of the worst crime epidemics in its history.  But then, suddenly and without warning, from a high in 1990, the crime rate went into a dramatic decline.  Murders dropped by two-thirds.  Felonies were cut in half.
They followed Wilson’s theory.
Wilson argued that crime is the inevitable result of disorder.  If a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that that no one cares and no one is in charge.  Soon, more windows will be broken, and the sense of anarchy will spread from the building to the street on which it faces, sending a signal that anything goes.
The idea is that crime is contagious.  It can start with a broken window and spread to an entire community.  Which means that what matters are the little things; what become critical are small stands against the spread of crime.
Which is exactly how New York City addressed the problem.
The war was waged on broken windows and graffiti, focusing on the subways.  The cleanup took from 1984 to 1990.  It soon spread to the entire city.  Seemingly inconsequential enforcements, such as turnstile-jumping on the subways, the "squeegee men" who came up to drivers at intersections, public drunkenness, and littering, were targeted.  To the surprise of all, crime began to fall in the city.
In Serious Times, I used Wilson’s theory to argue a point about how Christians can make a difference with their life.
When we live in such a way that we influence as “salt” and “light” (Mt. 5:13-16), with lives infused by Christ, it impacts the world around us in disproportionate measure.  We become the mended windows and the scrubbed-off graffiti.  The key to making a difference is not often a massive program, but what some have called the “monastic option” – humble, deliberate acts of cultural preservation.  This is precisely what a deepened soul, with a developed mind, following God’s call, rooted in a church, accomplishes.  Small, individual acts of living like, and for, Christ in relation to those who do not.
Henri Nouwen writes of a church building site where monks were working closely together with some good-natured, but good-cursing workers.  He wondered how the monks would react.  He knew how he would react.  He would not say anything at first, but slowly get angry until he finally exploded to say, “Don’t you know you are not supposed to curse!”  Then everyone would be angry, the air would be tense, and charity would be hard to find.  While Nouwen contemplated such things, a monk by the name of Anthony did respond.  After having heard the name of Jesus used “in vain” several times over from one particular man, Anthony walked quietly to the man, put his arm around his shoulder, and said, “Hey, you know – this is a monastery – and we love that man here.”  The man looked up at him, smiled, and said, “To tell you the truth – I do too.”  And they both had a good laugh.
And from that simple exchange, everything changed.
A broken window had been repaired.
James Q. Wilson died on Friday.  He was 80.
James Emery White
James Emery White, Serious Times (InterVarsity Press).
For a good introduction to Wilson’s theory, and specifically the New York experiment, see Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.
On the idea of the monastic option, see Morris Berman, Twilight of American Culture, as well as T.S. Eliot, Christianity and Culture.
Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery .
Sampling of obituaries on Wilson’s life:  “James Q. Wilson dies at 80; pioneer in 'broken windows' approach to improve policing,” Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2012, read online; “James Q. Wilson, scholar identified with ‘broken-windows’ theory of crime prevention, dies at 80,” Matt Schudel, The Washington Post, March 2, 2012, read online; “James Q. Wilson, 1931-2012, Originated ‘Broken Windows’ Policing Strategy,” Bruce Weber, New York Times, March 2, 2012, read online.
Editor’s Note
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president.  His latest book is What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary (Baker).  To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, log-on to, where you can post your comments on this blog, view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world.  Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Take Ten Coins

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."1

I appreciate the way the Bible opens. No fanfare. No fancy words. Just the simple statement: "In the beginning God." It is a totally non-defensive statement. God isn't trying to prove himself or defend his existence. He doesn't have to. We can take his statement or leave it. It's up to us. It's our choice.

In his booklet, The Reason Why, Robert Laidlaw shared how a former president of the New York Scientific Society once gave eight reasons why he believed in God.

"The first one is this. Take ten identical coins and mark them one to ten, place them in your pocket, then take one out. There is one chance in ten that you will get number one. Now replace it, and chances that number two will follow number one are not one in ten, but one in one hundred. With each new coin taken out the chances that it too will follow in the right order are multiplied by ten, so that the chance of all ten following in sequence is one chance in ten billion."

George Gallup, the famed American statistician, is reported to have said, "Take the human body alone—the chance that all the functions of the individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity."

The bottom line is that belief in God is a choice. For some it's a faith choice. For others it's a moral choice. I say a moral choice because if we choose to believe in God, we know that we are morally responsible. If we choose not to believe in God, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are not morally responsible for how we live and, thus, can live any way we like. Whatever choice we choose, the choice we make will make us. It will also determine our eternal destiny. Forever.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the wisdom to know and the desire and courage to always make the right choices—faith wise and moral. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Genesis 1:1 (NIV).


Article by Dick Innes