This is interesting:
India to issue all 1.2 billion citizens with biometric ID cards (www.timesonline.co.uk)
Ok, so there has to be some “beast” of a computer that would run that database, right? If India can roll this out, pretty much any country would be able to after that.
Hmm, this sounds familiar… where did I read about this once? I think it was in some book that has been around for a few thousand years. Maybe it’s the best selling book of all time.
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It’s cool when Christians are involved with the local community, policies and issues. We’re here, so we might as well do God’s work, right? Of course involvement can sometimes be taken too far (in my opinion) but this country was founded on Christian principles and in order to stay that way, we need to be involved. The more involvement at the local level, the better because that’s where it starts and matters the most.
This very thing happened last Sunday. Here’s the report from AllGodsPeople.com:
About two dozen people attended the symposium at Crossroads Church, on Madison’s southeast side.
"I pray that we will not be overwhelmed by the forces of secularism and godlessness," pastor Pritchard said, in his opening remarks, discussing challenges that have been mounted against religious elements of this month’s presidential inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C. "We still have our religious liberty, but the climate is changing," said pastor Dobie, as he discussed America’s religious heritage, going back to the Mayflower Compact.
"You are setting an example for others to follow," Julaine Appling told pastor Pritchard. "No matter how old you are, there are biblical examples to follow." Stressing that more Christians should get involved in public policy issues, Appling said, "We have lots of seats at the table at every level of government. We had men of faith as our founders. Now we have too many faithless men [in government].
Pastor Dobie urged people to write letters to officials of University Hospital and the University of Wisconsin on their recently announced plans to expand abortion services in Madison. "This process hurts people and the church needs to speak out," said pastor Dobie.
It seems like a church gets a new pastor and that pastor spends endless hours waiting to hear from God about the vision and purpose of that church. What should it be? What should it do? Blah, blah, blah.
Don’t worry about that. The Bible already tells you and God is probably wondering why you’re asking. Read the Great Commission. There you go. Do that. Go and love others. God will do the rest. Don’t think that your church is so special and has a unique, special purpose that no other church out there has. That’s not how God does it. God uses the church (which are all of God’s people) when they’re loving others. That is when God can do really cool stuff.
Problem solved. Get off your knees about this. Quit wasting time and go do it.
Here’s an email I sent to a friend of mine today…
Last week at LCC was a great sermon by Pastor Derrick. It’s all about loving people. That’s ALL we’re supposed to do. That’s it. God does the rest. This sermon by Shane says the same thing but even more – even better (or in a different way), I think. He’s our age and gets us, I think. He’s very down to earth, too.
For me, I just look back and what I thought church and Christianity was growing up and not that it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t quite on track. It was way too religious. The first point Shane brings up here is that all these churches now want to be that 2nd chapter of Acts church, blah, blah, blah. Well, that first church didn’t have some church model or books to read or anything – people just loved each other and put others before themselves and it changed the world. It’s simply said but not easy to do – I know that but having to just focus on that does seem easier to me, at least.
We just need to love God and love others. The devil wants to make you think that you need to be perfect before coming to God and he has succeeded drilling that message into our heads through religious churches. It’s wrong. God wants us as we are. When we love others, take the focus off of ourself, then God can change us and it just happens automatically and it’s a lot less work. It’s a lot less painful and it lasts, it’s permanent. It’s just like how fad diets don’t work – you have to live it for it to work.
And then as we love others, they get to know the same thing and can be free. It starts with our attitude. We need to be humble. It’s a choice and it’s hard to do but it transforms situations, reduces stress and again, lets God work and then the cool stuff happens.
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It seems like "Bedside Baptist" may be increasing their attendance:
Sunday Morning, Staying Home
(click through to the article this refers to)
I don’t agree with everything this article says but it’s interesting to me since I took a few months off of going to church this year. For me, it was just that I needed a break since I had been doing a lot of ministry in my church. One thing that I was longing for in the last year or so was to do more ministry work outside of the church walls. I felt like we definitely had it covered if people happened to walk in but really nothing was being done to bring them in and the church wasn’t providing any outlets to do that.
Now, I know that I could have done it. I could have gone out and did my own ministry – after first praying about it of course. Two things. One, I’ve had no training – not that you need tons but when you grow up inside the church walls, it’s a little scary leaving them. This is something I’m working on and I’ve found that it’s not as scary as I thought but still some coaching wouldn’t have hury. Two… darn, I forgot the second thing I was thinking of. Anyway, doing ministry doesn’t have to be "church sanctioned", I know. And there’s no question that God wants us to do it.
We each do have our own pulpit. The people around us are the ones we need to show God’s love to. Ok, so what does that mean? To me, it means that we need to love them and let God do the rest. God is all about love. In this time and place, there are lots of people who don’t know real love. They don’t know that God isn’t up there with lightning bolts in his hands, aiming us up, just waiting for us to fail. It’s the total opposite and he loves it when we’re happy – doing things like skiing or working on our cars. He loves that! Anyway, we just need to step out of ourselves and reach out to others. There is sometimes so little of that going on that when it’s genuinely done, people notice – big time! Then you just keep doing it, pray and let God do the rest. He’s got all kinds of resources at his disposal. We’re just here to love – you know, like the ’60s, man!
Back to this article… it seems to be criticizing the research done by someone else a little but here’s an interesting quote:
Women in particular leave evangelical churches, Ms. Duin says, because they are asked to do too little by their churches. Ms. Duin, who has a seminary degree, writes: "I have been one of those unwanted women for years." In fact, Ms. Duin’s interest in her subject is partly autobiographical: She left a church in 2001 and didn’t find a new one until 2007. She has lived through the process of church-quitting, and she has interviewed a lot of people with the same experience.
Asked to do too little? I guess I can see that. People want to feel wanted and lots of people do want to give of themselves to help others since it’s so rewarding. For me, it was too much for too long and I needed a break. I’ll get back to it in a while but for now I’m on sabattical. Taking a break. We need that, too… or at least I do – the way I’m built.
It is good to go to church though. We need encouragement from others. We’re not meant to walk alone and God is speaking through many good pastors out there. I have a friend that is going without a church right now and I hate to say it, but it shows. Breaks are fine, if they’re needed, but we need to be with others that share our same faith – be that at a church, at someone’s house or a coffeeshop meeting. That’s how God made us.