Sapphire Sky

January 27, 2011

Celebrate Life!

Filed under: praise — Anthony Biller @ 5:02 pm

Inside the Womb at 84 days

Happy to be here!

Praise God for the gift and miracle of life.

Shout for joy to the LORD!

Fr. Frank  Pavone asks a good question, “What disease does abortion cure?” – here.

January 24, 2011

Blundering engagement with a fragile, rude giant

Filed under: politics, economy, etc. — Anthony Biller @ 6:37 pm

The recent visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao was by my estimation the most signficant foreign policy event of President Obama’s administration, outside his handling of our ongoing wars in the Mideast.  I agree with engaging the Chinese at the highest levels and trying to integrate them further into and encourage their advances in deregulated markets and currency, however, President Obama performed poorly in how he conducted this engagement.  The Telegraph makes the case for polite, but firm appeasement of the Chinese, underscoring the fundamentally fragile nature of China’s economy and its demographics.  See here.  Obama is correct to engage, but incorrect to convey such deference and honor to a country that is not our ally — ideologically, economically or militarily. 

PRELL: China: U.S. No. 1 no more:

And, while this year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, rots in a Chinese jail, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Barack Obama, hosts a state dinner in honor of Liu Xiaobo’s jailers.

What a memorable state dinner it must have been, what with the ChiCom’s playing for President Obama one of their favorite anti-US songs about killing the US jackal, a patriotic song based on  their Korea war experience.  What audacity to play it in our Whitehouse to our POTUS.  A dinner for the classless (no Marxist pun intended) offered by the clueless.  See Nordlinger’s A Song and an Obscenity

January 19, 2011

Freedom, Human Rights, Blah Blah Blah …

Filed under: politics, economy, etc. — Anthony Biller @ 5:09 pm

The problem with freedom and human rights is that they’re mere principles, concepts really.  They don’t DO anything like purchase American debt, let alone lots of American debt.  They don’t manufacture inexpensive plastic toys and nearly everything else found in Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart. 

Who cares whether the ChiComs tortured Gao Zhisheng to death?  Who is he anyway? (See here and here.)

Yang Jianli served five years in prison in China for … attempting to observe labor unrest.  He urged “Mr. Obama, speak up for human rights in China.”  Well, Mr. Obama is instead regaling the dictators with a state dinner. 

Jay Nordlinger calls President Obama’s state dinner for the ChiComs “A Stain Upon the American Honor”

The this-isn’t-happening-anytime-soon award of the day goes to Mr. Bolton for his provocation: The West Needs to Stand Up to China

Even if you believe that economics should trump human rights and democracy, China is still quite unattractive, not the type date you should host and honor with a state dinner.  See China’s “state capitalism” sparks a global backlash

January 18, 2011

Dead Babies and Prime Time Babylon

Filed under: culture, entertainment — Anthony Biller @ 6:28 pm

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.
Matthew 2:18

And you took your sons and your daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and made them pass through the fire to the idols. Ezekiel 16:20,21

 K-Lo writes about MTV’s “reality show” about a teenage girl getting an abortion: Not That Innocent.  Excerpt:

Once she got to the abortion clinic, only clinic staff could be in the room with her. Afterwards Markai recounted their advice: “Don’t think of it as ten fingers and ten toes with a forehead and all that stuff. Because if you think of it like that, you’re going to make yourself depressed. …Think of it as what it is: a little ball of cells.” 

Related (courtesy ADF):

 

 Study: 24% of California babies are aborted 

NY Health Department: 41% of city pregnancies result in abortion 

U.S. passed 53 million abortion mark in 2010 

The rising abortion rate: 3 theories  

UK: Christian health worker faces sack over pro-life booklet

Expert: Abortion has led to 300,000 extra breast cancer deaths in U.S.

Planned Parenthood to implement abortion mandate by 2013 

Unborn twins interact with each other as early as 14 weeks 

Death of the pro-life Democrat 

 

January 17, 2011

Tim Hawkins on the Ark Encounter

Filed under: humor, Uncategorized — Steve Knaus @ 4:51 pm

January 15, 2011

More on the suffering church …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anthony Biller @ 9:43 am

Doug Carlson on The (sad) state of religious liberty – worldwide. 

India: Police charge 27 Muslims for chopping Christian lecturer’s hand off

18 dead in new attacks against Christians in Nigeria

30 Eritrean Christians arrested for praying in private home

 Lao officials arrest 11 Christians at gunpoint

As part of Religous Freedom Day (Jan 16), ADF refocuses attention on its efforts to protect the free expression of Christian faith in our public schools.  See here.

January 12, 2011

The Uncomfortable Church

Filed under: Ministry, World etc. — Anthony Biller @ 5:32 pm

It’s easy to take for granted our religious freedoms here in the USA.  While sometimes we complain about cultural hostility to Biblical truths, we must be careful not to conflate a secular humanist culture with religious persecution.  This country is still the most open, freest place in the history of humanity to practice one’s religion and pursue the face of God.  In fact, I believe comfort and not our culture is a far greater threat to the Western church.  This is an easy place to be a comfortable, sleeping Christian … to be lukewarm.  We’re a very comfortable people.  We often make a fuss because we’re “losing” the culture and our public institutions. We are not, however, losing our lives for the Gospel of Christ. 

What would it be like to be a Christian for even a week and attend church in a hell hole like Iran or North Korea? Brothers and sisters in Christ suffer and die throughout much of the world because of their faith in Christ. 

Paul Marshall reports on NRO: Iran Escalates Attacks on Christians 

North Korea tortures Christian evangelist to death after years of imprisonment: here.

Compass News reports, Lao Officials Destroy Rice Paddies, Expel More Christians 

In Somalia, a 17-year-old girl was recently killed for converting to Christianity, a so-called “honor killing.”  Nurta Mohamed Farah, who had fled her village to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam, died on Nov. 25, 2010.  See here

Compass Direct News reports: Muslims in Pakistan Burn, Beat Evangelist Unconscious

Voice of the Martyrs reports:

OneNewsNow.com is reporting on the State Department being deeply concerned about the rise in Christian persecution worldwide.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters at a recent press conference on Tuesday about the rise in attacks against Christians in Africa and areas of the Middle East. He explained that the State Department is aware of a “recent string of attacks against Christians” that has created heightened concern.

Jonathan Racho, regional manager for International Christian Concern (ICC), says his organization welcomes the response of the State Department. “The statement that they made is really powerful, and we believe that it will at least raise their concern with officials of countries where Christians are persecuted,” Racho suggests.

He goes on to note a recent attack on an Egyptian church that left 21 people dead, as well as the 86 believers who were brutally killed in Nigeria. In October, a local al-Qaeda group claimed responsibility for the deaths of 53 people after militants entered a church in Baghdad. …

Full article here.

I suspect that when we meet Christ on the other side of the veil, we will learn that here in the USA, we were nearly completely unaware of the giants of the faith in our time.  The American church is comfortable.  We are not broken, bleeding, or persecuted for our faith in Christ.  Indeed, I’m afraid to ask Christ for the strength and opportunity to be worthy of His calling …



January 11, 2011

Left Wing Rhetoric as Reality

Filed under: politics, economy, etc. — Anthony Biller @ 5:46 pm

A Communist assassinates President Kennedy.  Decades later, Marxist pothead Oliver Stone produces a movie showing American business and the US military (the original “Right Wing”) responsible for Kennedy’s death.  Of course, Stone sells his lie as truth. 

Now, a left-wing pothead with apparent severe psychiatric disorders shoots a Democratic Congresswoman and a Republican federal judge.  This time, the lefties are much quicker to the trigger, claiming Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party (the “new Right Wing”) are linked and/or somehow responsible.  See, e.g. herehere, here.  As one of the fathers of the modern left once said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

Updates: NYT’s joins the fracas in a sadly predictable fashion. See here.  In contrast, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey in the WSJ explains the lessons we should be drawing from the Tucson tragedy.  See A Predictable Tragedy in Arizona.

January 4, 2011

USA Christianity “megathemes”

Filed under: culture — Anthony Biller @ 10:35 pm

To the extent our US culture as expressed through our entertainment, public education institutions, and laws does not sufficiently convey that Americans are walking away from our Judeo-Christian moral heritage in general and Christianity in particular, polling data from 2010 now confirms it: Christianity in the USA is rapidly loosing force as a social influence.  Barna recently published a summary of its surveys on Christianity in the USA in 2010.  Specifically, Barna announced that its research reveals six “megathemes” demonstrating how the religious environment in the USA is “morphing into something new.”  In summary, a majority of Americans are Biblically illiterate and ignorant of the most basic Christian truths. Not surprisingly then, faith does not rank high on the list of our priorities. For teenagers, faith ranks on average as a lower priority than travel.  Knowing God and eternal security are not at the top of our “to do” lists.  Perhaps as a result of this relative ignorance and lack of concern, Christians are increasingly silent regarding Christ and reluctant to share their faith, invite unbelievers to church, or otherwise proselytize.  The church in the USA increasingly does not take a stand on matters pertaining to Biblical truth and righteousness. For example, few churches today dare to defend the institution of marriage, either in addressing divorce from within its pews or by defending the institution of marriage in our larger culture and laws.  Again, as if we need polls to see this, the influence of Christianity on individuals and on our culture is largely invisible in today’s USA.  Barna provides more information and analysis in this excellent article – see here

We should pray for our country, for the church in the USA, and for our own courage to share the Good News, by our actions and equally importantly – by actually opening our mouths and telling what Christ has done and the difference he makes.  At the end, our “culture” consists of the beliefs and attitudes of our people — people for whom Christ died.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Romans 10:14-15

January 2, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions

Filed under: encouragement — Steve Knaus @ 1:29 am

This is the time of the year when we tend to take stock of ourselves and our lives.  We often make promises on things that we try to improve – many of which we never complete.

In the early 1700’s, Jonathan Edwards compiled a list of 70 resolutions. While we may review our resolutions every year, Edwards committed to reviewing his resolutions every week! You can read Edwards’ complete list here.

Instead of making yet another annual list of promises that I cannot keep, here is my list of resolutions for this year and following:

1. Resolved to seek Christ as the top priority in my life.

All other priorities must take a secondary role after Christ.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

 

2. Resolved to developing spiritual growth in myself, my family, and in other believers where I have contact.

It is not enough to pass the time or to make good conversation. We  must  continue to grow in our own lives and seek to build each other up.

Hebrews 3:12-13
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called”Today,”so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

 

3. Resolved to present Christ to those who do not know him.

Walk the talk, but also look for opportunities to speak of him.

1 Peter 3:15
but set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

 

4. Resolved to be honorable and exemplary in my professional life.

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

 

5. Resolved to be active and responsible in physical, financial, mental, and social matters.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27
Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

 

6. Resolved to never break from the fight against temptation.

Philippians 3:19-20
… whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

 

7. Resolved to seek out service to others, not for my gain, but for the advancement of Christ and for building up others.

James 2:15-17
If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them,”Go in peace, be warmed and be filled”, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

 

8. Resolved to repent and seek forgiveness when I fail in these things.

1 John 1:8-9
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

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