I read an article today via FoxNews where a New Zealand man was forced to choose between his drowning wife or son. It is heartbreaking and made me recall a story I had heard previously. I never knew whether it was true or not, (Snopes says no) but it is still a good story to hear.
The Anguishing Choice
After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church's pastor once again slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and gave a very brief introduction of his childhood friend. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit to speak, "A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast," he began, "when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean."
The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. He continued, "Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy he would throw the other end of the line. He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out, 'I love you, son!' he threw the line to his son's friend."
"By the time he pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beyond the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered."
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting straighter in the pew, waiting for the next words to come out of the old man's mouth. "The father," he continued, "knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son. How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us." With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.
Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side. "That was a nice story," politely started one of the boys, "but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian."
"Well, you've got a point there," the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at the boys and said, "It sure isn't very realistic, is it? But I'm standing here today to tell you that THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His son for me. You see, I was the son's friend."Print This Post
Congratulations go to Josh and Andrew for running away from the field with a 3 over par 57 to claim the first ever TNC Disc Golf Invitational ProAm championship. Steve took the longest drive and Jess won closest to the pin. The weather held off until the end and all in all it was a great day. Me and my partner (Payne Stewart) had a lot of fun even though we tied for last. We were all disappointed that no women joined the competition. Maybe next time.Print This Post
Rain or shine, the TNC Disc Golf Invitational ProAm will be played 2pm on Sunday afternoon at Mill Creek DGC!Print This Post
Join the frisbee fun at Middle Creek DGC this Sunday, 2pm. "Valuable" prizes can be won for best team score, longest drive and closest to the pin! All you need to bring is your own frisbee. Everyone is welcome. And just so you know that we have put some thought into it, here are the rules.
Disc Golf is played like regular golf using a flying disc. One stroke is counted each time the disc is thrown and when a penalty is incurred. The object is to acquire the lowest score.
Tee throws must be completed within the designated tee area. Stepping outside of the designated tee area once the disc is released is acceptable. Do not throw until the players in front of you are out of range.
After teeing off, the player whose disc is farthest from the hole always throws first. The player with the least amount of strokes on the previous hole is the first to tee off on the next hole.
A lie is the spot where your previous throw has landed.
Fairway throws must be made with the foot closest to the hole on the lie. The other foot may be no closer to the hole than the lie. A run-up and normal follow-through, after release, is allowed more than 30’ from the hole. Inside 30’, a player may not step past his/her lie. ‘Falling or jumping’ putts are not allowed inside 30’.
Completion Of Hole
A disc that comes to rest in the basket or chains constitutes successful completion of that hole. A disc that comes to rest on top of the pole hole does NOT constitute a successful completion of that hole.
A disc that comes to rest more than 2 meters above the ground is considered unplayable. The disc must be thrown from the lie on the ground, directly underneath the unplayable lie. Add 1 stroke penalty.
A throw that lands out-of-bounds must be played from the point where the disc went out-of-bounds. 1 stoke penalty is incurred. Water, roads, parking lots, over a fence and pavilions are normal disc golf out-of-bounds hazards.
Players will not be penalized for rule infractions. Other players will keep you honest. A player may not move, alter, bend or hold back any part of a tree or bush between the lie and the hole. However the player may obtain relief from casual water, loose leaves or debris, broken branches no longer connected to tree, or motor vehicles.
A team of two (2) players will be assigned by the event organizers. A group of four (4) players made up of two teams will play the course together.
In a scramble, each player tees off on each hole. The best of the tee shots is selected and all players play their second shots from that spot. The better of the second shots is determined, and then all play their third shots from that spot, and so on until the disc is holed. One shot from each player on the team must be selected each hole.
The lowest team score will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the 18th hole will be replayed in a sudden death format until a winner is determined.Print This Post
Tell the group something about yourself that will surprise the group.
Read Psalm 139: 23-24.
- Write down the action words in these verses.
- What is David asking God to do?
- Have you ever asked anyone to do this?
- Have you ever asked God to do this?
Now, read Psalm 139:1-22
- How does this fit with the end of the Psalm?
- Do you really feel, deep down, that God knows us better than we do?
- Can we have God search us and reveal something to us we aren’t aware of?
- Has there ever been anything you tried to conceal that was revealed against your wishes?
- How did that work out?
This Sunday the 15th we are collecting our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We will collect them in the main theater and have a specific time during the service to pray for them. If you need help, you can find instructions on how to pack a box here.Print This Post
Print This Post
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.
Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
- Karen Armstrong
Via Google News
By ARIEL DAVID (AP)
VATICAN CITY — E.T. phone Rome. Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.
"The questions of life's origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration," said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.
Funes, a Jesuit priest, presented the results Tuesday of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the budding field of astrobiology — the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos.
Funes said the possibility of alien life raises "many philosophical and theological implications" but added that the gathering was mainly focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines can be used to explore the issue.
Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, said it was appropriate that the Vatican would host such a meeting.
"Both science and religion posit life as a special outcome of a vast and mostly inhospitable universe," he told a news conference Tuesday. "There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe."
Thirty scientists, including non-Catholics, from the U.S., France, Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Chile attended the conference, called to explore among other issues "whether sentient life forms exist on other worlds."
Funes set the stage for the conference a year ago when he discussed the possibility of alien life in an interview given prominence in the Vatican's daily newspaper.
The Church of Rome's views have shifted radically through the centuries since Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600 for speculating, among other ideas, that other worlds could be inhabited.
Scientists have discovered hundreds of planets outside our solar system — including 32 new ones announced recently by the European Space Agency. Impey said the discovery of alien life may be only a few years away.
"If biology is not unique to the Earth, or life elsewhere differs bio-chemically from our version, or we ever make contact with an intelligent species in the vastness of space, the implications for our self-image will be profound," he said.
This is not the first time the Vatican has explored the issue of extraterrestrials: In 2005, its observatory brought together top researchers in the field for similar discussions.
In the interview last year, Funes told Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that believing the universe may host aliens, even intelligent ones, does not contradict a faith in God.
"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said in that interview.
"Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God's creative freedom."
Funes maintained that if intelligent beings were discovered, they would also be considered "part of creation."
The Roman Catholic Church's relationship with science has come a long way since Galileo was tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant his finding that the Earth revolves around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe.
Today top clergy, including Funes, openly endorse scientific ideas like the Big Bang theory as a reasonable explanation for the creation of the universe. The theory says the universe began billions of years ago in the explosion of a single, super-dense point that contained all matter.
Earlier this year, the Vatican also sponsored a conference on evolution to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species."
The event snubbed proponents of alternative theories, like creationism and intelligent design, which see a higher being rather than the undirected process of natural selection behind the evolution of species.
Still, there are divisions on the issues within the Catholic Church and within other religions, with some favoring creationism or intelligent design that could make it difficult to accept the concept of alien life.
Working with scientists to explore fundamental questions that are of interest to religion is in line with the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, who has made strengthening the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy.
Recent popes have been working to overcome the accusation that the church was hostile to science — a reputation grounded in the Galileo affair.
In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared the ruling against the astronomer was an error resulting from "tragic mutual incomprehension."
The Vatican Museums opened an exhibit last month marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first celestial observations.
Tommaso Maccacaro, president of Italy's national institute of astrophysics, said at the exhibit's Oct. 13 opening that astronomy has had a major impact on the way we perceive ourselves.
"It was astronomical observations that let us understand that Earth (and man) don't have a privileged position or role in the universe," he said. "I ask myself what tools will we use in the next 400 years, and I ask what revolutions of understanding they'll bring about, like resolving the mystery of our apparent cosmic solitude."
The Vatican Observatory has also been at the forefront of efforts to bridge the gap between religion and science. Its scientist-clerics have generated top-notch research and its meteorite collection is considered one of the world's best.
The observatory, founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, is based in Castel Gandolfo, a lakeside town in the hills outside Rome where the pope has his summer residence. It also conducts research at an observatory at the University of Arizona, in Tucson.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.Print This Post
16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
I pushed pause. In that moment I stopped the film and I remembered a verse, Romans 8:1:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, …”
I want to share a great post with you from Stuff Christians Like.Print This Post
Planned Parenthood has been a part of Abby Johnson's life for the past eight years; that is until last month, when Abby resigned. Johnson said she realized she wanted to leave, after watching an ultrasound of an abortion procedure.
"I just thought I can't do this anymore, and it was just like a flash that hit me and I thought that's it," said Jonhson.
She handed in her resignation October 6. Johnson worked as the Bryan Planned Parenthood Director for two years.
According to Johnson, the non-profit was struggling under the weight of a tough economy, and changing it's business model from one that pushed prevention, to one that focused on abortion.
"It seemed like maybe that's not what a lot of people were believing any more because that's not where the money was. The money wasn't in family planning, the money wasn't in prevention, the money was in abortion and so I had a problem with that," said Johnson.
Johnson said she was told to bring in more women who wanted abortions, something the Episcopalian church goer recently became convicted about.
"I feel so pure in heart (since leaving). I don't have this guilt, I don't have this burden on me anymore that's how I know this conversion was a spiritual conversion."
Johnson now supports the Coalition For Life, the pro-life group with a building down the street from Planned Parenthood. Coalition volunteers can regularly be seen praying on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. Johnson has been meeting with the coalition's executive director, Shawn Carney, and has prayed with volunteers outside Planned Parenthood.
On Friday both Johnson and the Coalition For Life were issued temporary restraining orders filed by Planned Parenthood.
Rochelle Tafolla, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson issued the following statement: "We regret being forced to turn to the courts to protect the safety and confidentiality of our clients and staff, however, in this instance it is absolutely necessary."
The temporary restraining order contends that Planned Parenthood would be irreparably harmed by the disclosure of certain information, but does not bar Johnson or Coalition For Life volunteers from the premises.
As of Sunday evening, neither Johnson nor Carney had seen the complaint filed against them that prompted the restraining order.
A hearing about the order has been set for November 10.Print This Post
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)
- Be Sympathetic
- Show Love
- Show Humility
- Show Mercy
What are some ways that you can show sympathy with someone you are in conflict?
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
Do you believe there is such a thing as an emotional bank account?
Name something specific you do during a conflict that demonstrates humility.
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
Relational conflict is mostly about words. Do you stab or bring healing? Are you merciful?
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
Is this more of a struggle for men or women?
At what speed do you listen, speak or become angry?
What do you need to do differently?