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Love & Marriage… Go Together Like… A Few Comments on the Covenantal Practice Today

Marriage is a created good, is not a ‘must,’ isn’t easy.

Less than a year ago, an article was published in Huffington Post entitled “Is Marriage an Outdated Tradition?” As it seems, the authors answer is: yes.

Sadly, many Americans would agree.

According to a report issued by the Center for Disease Control in March of 2016, when prompted to respond to the statement “marriage has not worked out for most people I know,” roughly a third of those surveyed answered in agreement.

Respondents also generally demonstrated indifference towards what some would call a ‘traditional’ family structure. Marriage, in their view, isn’t really essential to a couple’s decision to enter into parenthood.

Researchers, writers, and experts across the country are wondering whether or not we should ditch this formal union and leave it in the dust of generations past. Marriage is hard and promising to stand by someone amidst the chaos and change of life seems unpractical in our modern, ‘have-it-all’ cultural context. Many wonder, like the author of the aforementioned article, why should we bother entering into these life-long commitments if they’re no longer satisfying our needs?

This argument, of course, presupposes that marriage has nothing to do with self-less love, but the selfish desires we have in our own hearts. It assumes that marriage is a social construct that—just as quickly as it was created—can be dismantled and destroyed to serve a broader cultural agenda.

But try as the media might to convince us that marriage is just another means for our own happiness—and one in which individuals can set their own rules and independent bounds for—we know the truth. God created this union, among many reasons, to eventually ...

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[Cfamily]God’s Message on ‘Ash Valentine’s Day’: True Love Dies
« Reply #809 on: February 19, 2018, 12:00:22 AM »
God’s Message on ‘Ash Valentine’s Day’: True Love Dies

When the first day of Lent falls on a romantic holiday, love and death meet up.

Today, on Valentine’s Day, while the world is bedecked with schmaltzy red and pink hearts, I will stand before kneeling members of my congregation and tell them that they are going to die. This, without a doubt, is among the most punk rock things I have ever done.

For the first time in 45 years, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day, a liturgical feast day commemorating not one but two martyrdoms. The holiday—in old English, h?ligdæg, or “holy day”—has been scrubbed of its bloody beginnings and now finds its chief significance in market share and revenue generation. (Houston Asset Management tracked 2017’s Valentine sales as just over $18 billion in their yearly “Cost of Loving” index.)

With its declaration of human finitude and mortality, Ash Wednesday is always counter-cultural, but when it falls on the very day that chalky candy hearts proclaim “Be Mine,” “Wink Wink,” and (my favorite) “U R A 10,” the contrast is particularly stark.

Though I generally never turn down any excuse to eat chocolate, I’ve never been the biggest fan of the way we Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day, with its trite mushiness and overcrowded restaurants (not to mention the inevitable pro- and anti-Valentine’s Day hot takes). So there’s a goth little rebel in me that relishes the opportunity to preside over such a radically alternative event. As a priest, I’ll remind my congregation that however much we ignore the human condition, we are, in fact, dust and to dust we shall return (Ecc. 3:20).
Themes of love and death are entwined chronologically in this “Ash Valentine’s Day,” and they’re deeply connected ...

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[Cfamily]The Olympics Have Begun! What Can We Learn from the Top Athletes?
« Reply #810 on: February 20, 2018, 12:00:38 AM »
The Olympics Have Begun! What Can We Learn from the Top Athletes?

Is physical activity, like running, swimming, and dancing, an act of worship unto the Lord?

Just last week, the torch in Pyeonchang, South Korea, was lit; the 2018 Winter Olympic Games have begun. Over the next week or so, the world will watch as teams compete in a myriad of events from bobsledding to biathlons across the snowy slopes.

Athletic events like this are an incredible display of human talent and the wondrous works that are our physical bodies. These competitors’ capacity to perform such feats of physical strength and mental discipline are an astounding testament to God’s creative genius.

Believers competing at this level recognize that their capabilities are a gift from God to be used for his glory. In Romans 12, Paul instructs believers, because of God’s mercy, to offer our bodies as a “living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God,” saying that this is a form of “true and proper worship.”

Many (rightly) apply this to their work, athletics, and other efforts.

Many churchgoers might find this verse and the application quite puzzling. Worship in our minds involves music, lyrics, and raised hands. It’s something you do in church before the pastor gets up to give a sermon; it gives glory and praise to God and brings peace to our weary hearts. But Paul’s understanding of worship seems much broader.

Now, that does not devalue the worship we do in church. But we can work as worship. We can run as worship. And there is much more.

So, in light of the Olympics, it is worth considering at this time.

As Christ’s church, do we consider physical activity—be it running, swimming, or dancing—as acts of worship unto the Lord? Do we understand that God is glorified in our stewardship of the gifts and talents he has so graciously given to us?

Few Olympic athletes ...

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Source: The Olympics Have Begun! What Can We Learn from the Top Athletes?

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[Cfamily]How History’s Revivals Teach Us to Pray
« Reply #811 on: February 21, 2018, 12:00:26 AM »
How History’s Revivals Teach Us to Pray

The case for communing with God in a daring and agonizing way.

From 1949 to 1952, the unthinkable unfolded on Scottish islands known as the Hebrides: revival! Seemingly out of nowhere, a spiritual awakening swept across the islands of Lewis and Harris, replacing post–World War II despair and depression with earnest, zealous faith. Some historians believe this was the last genuine awakening in the western world.

When I came across a book detailing the Hebridian Revival, I wanted to know how a community was transformed from spiritual freefall to stunning renewal. So I booked a flight to Scotland, hoping to meet anyone who might remember what happened in those days. To my amazement, I met 11 eyewitnesses—in their 80s now—who agreed to interviews in the sanctuary of the very church where the awakening began.

Bundled against the wintry barrenness outside, my new friends warmed with memories as tears flowed freely. While they admitted strong preaching and other measures had played a role in the revival, to a person they described something more essential when God moved: a kind of spiritual posture among those at the core of the awakening.

They told of the attitude of brokenness and desperation that stirred Christians in that day, a spirit of necessity and audacity, a manner of prayer that could be daring and agonizing. They called it “travailing prayer,” from how Paul described his prayers for the Galatians “of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (4:19 KJV).

Ever since I looked into the eyes of people who experienced the revival that we so desperately long to see again, I have come to believe that the link from here to there is in the hearts of men and women willing to receive this gift of travail.

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Offline John

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #812 on: February 21, 2018, 10:12:12 AM »
Aggh a subscription only link.

Fortunetly I've read Duncan Campbells biograph as well as a great book on Revival, call ed that and I'm aware of the wonderfull, chasllenging and humbling stories of the people who prayed for revival and how that community was saturated with the Spirit of God.

I would recomend getting and reading books on revival.

The only one I've details of in my head is Revival, a community staturated with God. by  B.H. Edwards, I think published by dayone.
It is a review of the history of revival looking atthe effect of revival on communities.


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[Cfamily]Our Blood Exposes Our Physical—and Spiritual—Health
« Reply #813 on: February 22, 2018, 12:00:31 AM »
Our Blood Exposes Our Physical—and Spiritual—Health

When we are sick and need to know what can make us whole again, there is no other fount we know.

In the time it takes to read this sentence, your body will produce 17 million blood cells deep in its marrow. To put that in context, that’s as many cells as twice the population of New York City. Once created, those red blood cells move into the bloodstream—red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, all bobbing along in plasma through 60,000 miles of vessels in the human body.

And in the time it took you to read the first paragraph, all of the blood in your body has completed its regular journey—it has traveled from your heart to your extremities and returned, there and back again. Your blood knows your body better than your brain does, as your blood has seen all but the cornea, from the brain to the toes and everything in between. It has sailed on the quick current of the great arterial rivers and through the smallest cholesterol-clogged creeks. It has seen it all.

Because of this Hobbitesque journey, remnants of all of the battles waged by the white blood cells against the enemies of your body, foreign and domestic, persist in your blood. Evidence of aberrations developed over the course of your life lurks behind, indicating future problems on your health’s horizon.

Your blood is a biomarker. Biomarkers, according to epidemiologist Barbara Hulka, are “cellular, biochemical, or molecular alterations that are measurable in biological media such as human tissues, cells, or fluids.”

While your body has many types of biomarkers, blood is in many ways the most promising. Several drops of blood increasingly give doctors a multitude of physiological data about your health. It is thought that blood records all the biological events of your life.

For example, doctors can now analyze a drop ...

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[Cfamily]Billy Graham and Johnny Cash: An Unlikely Friendship
« Reply #814 on: February 24, 2018, 12:00:24 AM »
Billy Graham and Johnny Cash: An Unlikely Friendship

The evangelist originally sought out the singer for the sake of his son.

Billy Graham and Johnny Cash were the best of friends, mutual confessors, and fishing buddies. Their wives, Ruth Bell and June Carter, were prayer partners. The two men could sit for hours in the same room without saying a word—Billy working on a book and Johnny on his songs. Once in a while, Johnny would interrupt and try out a song on Billy or ask a question about the Bible. At mealtimes, the families would gather to pray, sing, and eat. Usually the subject moved quickly to family and friends, problems and challenges. Johnny always had a list of friends he wanted Billy to call, while Billy would ask Johnny for advice and prayer for his loved ones.

Billy and Johnny’s connection originated with Billy’s desire to connect with his son Franklin and the boy’s teenage peers. Franklin says that even as a little boy, “I loved Johnny Cash’s music.” He recalls that in 1969, Billy called the governor of Ten­nessee to ask for help in setting up an appointment with Johnny. Billy was observing his son slip into smoking, drinking, drugs, and girls. Franklin left one school after another, sometimes after being expelled. In his autobiography, Just as I Am, Billy explained that Franklin believed he was successfully hiding these things from his dad—“or so he thought,” Billy wrote.

Both father and son later agreed that Billy had approached Johnny with the goal of connecting with Franklin. “My favorite song was ‘Ring of Fire,’” says Franklin. “Father wanted to con­nect to me by connecting to Johnny Cash.” The elder Graham framed the matter in more global terms while visiting the sing­er’s home near Nashville.

Johnny told Country Music ...

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[Cfamily]The Secrets to Graham’s Success
« Reply #815 on: February 25, 2018, 12:00:24 AM »
The Secrets to Graham’s Success

Five factors that show why the evangelist turned the world upside down.

When D. L. Moody died in 1899, the evangelical world felt his loss deeply. More than anyone else in his day, Moody, the rough-hewn shoe salesman turned evangelist, had motivated Christians on both sides of the Atlantic for the work of evangelism. In doing so, he had become a force for evangelical unity and gospel advance. The question on the lips of nearly everyone was, “Who will be the next D. L. Moody?”

Then Billy Graham was born in Charlotte in 1918. Graham carried Moody’s “passion for souls” to the ends of the earth. He became, along with Pope John Paul II, one of the great shapers of the world Christian movement. Yet Graham, a dairy farm hand and Fuller Brush huckster, was no less likely than Moody to fulfill such a calling. What was the secret of Billy Graham’s evangelistic success? Here are five factors:


Graham spent 18 months as the pastor of a small church near Chicago, but from the beginning it was clear that he was called to be an evangelist. He had a burning compassion to call lost men and women to faith in Jesus Christ; he did this faithfully, consistently, and single-mindedly. Graham shunned opportunities in politics, business, and entertainment to “do the work of an evangelist,” yet he had an impact in each of these fields. His single-mindedness brought him criticism as well as praise. In 1952, two years before Brown vs. the Board of Education, Graham walked down from the crusade platform in Jackson, Mississippi, and personally removed the barrier separating whites and blacks. Later he commended the work of Martin Luther King and invited him to pray in his crusades. Though Graham did not march in Selma, King acknowledged that Graham’s ministry ...

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Source: The Secrets to Graham’s Success

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