Forum: Religion

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  • The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

    12/20/2014 5:22:05 PM PST · by Salvation · 5 replies
    CatholicEducation.org ^ | 1986 | PETER KREEFT
     ·         The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper ·         PETER KREEFT While Christmas is so familiar that we sometimes wonder whether anything fresh and true can be said about it, there is a way to explore its meaning that may seem new to us today, yet is in fact quite traditional, dating back to the Middle Ages and the ancient Fathers of the Church.Modern interpreters often argue about whether a given Scripture passage should be interpreted literally or symbolically. Medieval writers would question the either/or approach. They thought a passage could have as many as four right interpretations, one literal...
  • Papal "Diplomacy" with Herod and Hitler

    12/20/2014 4:46:28 PM PST · by BlatherNaut · 4 replies
    The Tenth Crusade ^ | 12/20/14 | The Tenth Crusade
    I have not had the time to put together a post on Pope Francis political move to turn a blind eye and give the nudge and the wink to the ruthless and murdering regime in Cuba and help Obama and the commies in the United States spread communism here. I probably won't get to it until after Christmas but I did want to point out that local commie Jackie Connors was spearheading the arrangement: http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2014/12/17/pope-francis-helped-broker-the-restoration-of-us-cuban-relations/ I bet money was funneled into Church coffers somewhere. More on how Connors took control of the Boston diocese and castrated the Cardinal with money,...
  • Hail, Mary! Tabernacle of God and the Word! (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)

    12/20/2014 4:21:32 PM PST · by NYer · 5 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | December 20, 2014 | Carl E. Olson
    Detail from "The Cestello Annunciation" (1489) by Sandro Botticelli (WikiArt.org) Readings: • 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 • Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29 • Rom 16:25-27 • Lk 1:26-38 “Hail! tabernacle of God and the Word. Hail! holy beyond all holy ones. Hail! ark gilded by the Holy Ghost. Hail! unfailing treasure-house of life.” These words from the ancient Akathist hymn, a great sixth-century song of praise for the mystery of the Incarnation, poetically summarize the Marian themes in today’s readings. The Theotokos—the Mother of God—is the dwelling place of God, the “container of the Uncontainable God,” and “the...
  • Le Figaro on the Vatican "Secret War" - Cardinal Burke's interview to Le Figaro

    12/20/2014 1:13:36 PM PST · by ebb tide · 7 replies
    Rorate Caeli ^ | 12/19/2014 | New Catholic
    The weekly magazine of major French daily Le Figaro dedicates this week's issue to what it calls the "Secret War in the Vatican: How Pope Francis shakes up the Church". The general theme is that already mentioned elsewhere, of an authoritarian pope, his strong decisions, and individuals who are dissatisfied or merely puzzled with his procedures and ideas - and are therefore eliminated one by one. There are interesting passages such as the following: Did not this pope, who feels himself to be first of all the bishop of Rome - the word 'pope' rarely comes out of his lips...
  • How the Catholic Church Saved Hanukkah

    12/20/2014 11:25:30 AM PST · by millegan · 11 replies
    ChurchPOP ^ | 2014 | Joe Heschmeyer
    "And so we encounter another oddity of Hanukkah: Jews know the fuller history of the holiday because Christians preserved the books that the Jews themselves lost. In a further twist, Jews in the Middle Ages encountered the story of the martyred mother and her seven sons anew in Christian literature and once again placed it in the time of the Maccabees."
  • Pray for our American Heroes

    12/20/2014 10:21:24 AM PST · by Irish Rose · 8 replies
    December 20, 2014 | Irish Rose
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14)...
  • Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas [Catholic Caucus]

    12/20/2014 9:55:55 AM PST · by Salvation · 4 replies
    CatholicEducation.org ^ | December, 1998 | MICHAELANN MARTIN
    Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas ·         Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas ·         MICHAELANN MARTIN Issue: How can families better live the spirit of Advent and Christmas in their homes? ResponseThe Catholic Church has designated the four weeks preceding Christmas as Advent, a time to prepare the way of the Lord for His coming as our King and Savior. In addition, the Church teaches that: [w]hen the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviors first coming, the faithful...
  • Christmas Isn’t Perfect – So Find Christ in Your Real Christmas

    12/20/2014 9:35:30 AM PST · by Salvation · 11 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-19-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Christmas Isn’t Perfect – So Find Christ in Your Real Christmas By: Msgr. Charles PopeMost of us have a perfect Christmas in mind. Often it is the creation of Hallmark, Currier & Ives, and various marketers. But none of us will have a perfect Christmas, just a real one.The First Christmas wasn’t perfect either. In fact, the only way to describe it is to call it a crisis. Mary was pregnant before marriage, a very dangerous thing in those times. Just at the time of birth they were required to travel eighty miles on foot to Bethlehem. There was no...
  • ISIS Reportedly Selling Christian Artifacts, Turning Churches into Torture Chambers

    12/20/2014 8:59:53 AM PST · by marshmallow · 25 replies
    Fox News ^ | 12/20/14 | Perry Chiaramonte
    The Islamic State is turning Christian churches in Iraq and Syria into dungeons and torture chambers after stripping them of priceless artifacts to sell on the black market, according to reports. Ancient relics and even entire murals are being torn from the houses of worship and smuggled out through the same routes previously established for moving oil and weapons in and out of the so-called caliphate, a vast region the jihadist army has claimed as sovereign under Sharia law. "ISIS has a stated goal to wipe out Christianity,” Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice and the...
  • Smithmas 2014

    12/20/2014 6:16:13 AM PST · by Colofornian · 11 replies
    MormonDialogue.com ^ | Dec 16, 2014 | Scott Lloyd
    Rain... I've not heard of "smithmas" before, but as soon as I saw this title I knew what the term meant because for years I did see/hear far more about Joseph Smith in church than about Christ in December and it really irked me... Rain #47   In 2005...And then from there it continued throughout 2006. Talk after talk was centered on his life. I could count months when Jesus was only mentioned in the prayers. So much so that when I moved in 7/2006 I very much struggled to be obedient when I was asked to give a talk...
  • Smithmas FR articles bumping up among top five hits on Google searches! [Vanity]

    12/20/2014 6:15:25 AM PST · by Colofornian · 11 replies
    Colofornian | Dec. 20, 2014 | Colofornian
    Finally, understanding the sub-culural history of "Smithmas" is making more digital headway! Smithmas Free Republic articles are "bumping up" among top five hits on Google searches! What exactly IS "Smithmas," anyway? Well, Joseph Smith -- THE founder of Mormonism -- was born on December 23. Through the decades, that recognition has often eclipsed a certain Other figure's birthday, Dec. 25. (To be fair to Mormons, who are my beloved extended family members, I would think they could extend a similar critique toward some Christians for allowing a jovial North Pole-based figure to edge out Jesus' birthday!) But if you want...
  • Pray For the Peace of Jerusalem(12/20/14)[Prayer]

    12/20/2014 5:03:04 AM PST · by left that other site · 13 replies
    The Holy Scriptures | 12/20/14 | left that other site
    Pray For the Peace of Jerusalem Character Studies From The Bible Isaac New International Version (NIV) Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away 8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do...
  • Pope warns against sterile egoism rooted in a desire for power

    12/19/2014 9:40:24 PM PST · by ebb tide · 31 replies
    Religion News Service ^ | Josephine McKenna
    Vatican City, Dec 19, 2014 / 09:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis cautioned Christians against an egoism that excludes the need for God in his homily at Mass on Friday, saying this attitude renders our lives sterile and prevents the Church from bearing fruit. “This too makes me think of our mother Church and of so much sterility within our Mother Church,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse chapel Dec. 19. He noted that when too much emphasis is placed on our ability to choose to be good by following the commandments unaided by grace,...
  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-20-14

    12/19/2014 8:49:44 PM PST · by Salvation · 32 replies
    USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-20-14 | Revised New American Bible
    December 20, 2014Saturday of the Third Week of Advent    Reading 1 Is 7:10-14 The LORD spoke to Ahaz:Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!But Ahaz answered,“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Then Isaiah said:Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men,must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and shall name him Emmanuel. Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 R. (see...
  • Cardinal Timothy Dolan cuts ties with anti-abortion crusader Frank Pavone

    12/19/2014 8:17:59 PM PST · by NKP_Vet · 15 replies
    http://www.religionnews.com ^ | December 15, 2014 | David Gibson
    NEW YORK (RNS) In the latest clash between the Catholic hierarchy and one of the church’s leading anti-abortion crusaders, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan accused the Rev. Frank Pavone of continuing to stonewall on financial reforms, and Dolan said he is cutting ties with his group, Priests for Life. In a Nov. 20 letter to other U.S. bishops, Dolan said he did not know if the Vatican would now step in to take action against the New York-based priest, who for years has angered various bishops by rejecting oversight of the organization by church authorities and for refusing to sort...
  • For Advent: Our Mother of Perpetual Help [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

    12/19/2014 8:08:48 PM PST · by Salvation · 9 replies
    SalveMariaRegina ^ | not given | SalveMariaReginia.info
    Our Mother of Perpetual HelpPainted in tempera on hard nutwood, 21 inches by 17, the original picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is one of many copies of the famed Hodeguitria of St. Luke. (The Hodeguitria, reputedly painted by St. Luke, was venerated for centuries at Constantinople as a miraculous icon. It was destroyed by the Turks in the year 1453.) This particular image, however, is THE ONE COPY singled out – by Our Lady herself – for special heavenly favors. You may see it today enshrined above the high altar at the Redemptorist Church of San Alfonso,...
  • British Midwives Obliged to Support Abortions, Supreme Court Rules

    12/19/2014 6:39:34 PM PST · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    Aleteia ^ | 12/19/14 | Greg Daly
    Bishop says establishment has become an oppressor of basic freedoms in the name of being pro-choice.Britain’s Supreme Court has rejected the case of two Scottish midwives who refused to be involved with abortion procedures, following an appeal from National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde against last year’s Court of Session ruling that the “right of conscientious objection extends not only to the actual medical or surgical termination but to the whole process of treatment given for that purpose.” Concepta Wood and Mary Doogan were experienced midwives working as labor ward coordinators at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, which since 2010...
  • Jesuit University [Marquette] Bans Prof from Campus After He Exposed Pro-Gay Scandal

    12/19/2014 6:30:46 PM PST · by marshmallow · 20 replies
    LifeSite News ^ | 12/18/14 | Kimberly Scharfenberger
    Dr. John McAdams, a professor of political science at Marquette University whose blog posts have brought to light many of the Jesuit University’s actions undermining its Catholic identity, has reportedly been suspended, banned from campus and is now under formal investigation by the administration. The Cardinal Newman Society spoke to the University in order to determine the grounds for the disciplinary action. McAdams released the news on his blog, Marquette Warrior, which included an email sent to him from the dean of Marquette, Richard Holz. The email stated that McAdams was to remain off campus while his conduct was reviewed...
  • My “Boring” Christian Testimony

    12/19/2014 5:21:08 PM PST · by Gamecock · 29 replies
    Christianity Today ^ | November 25, 2014 | Megan Hill
    I have no memory of becoming a Christian. I didn’t pray a prayer or walk an aisle or have a eureka moment. In fact, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love the Lord Jesus. My Christian testimony—the story of how I came to faith—is downright boring. In fifth grade, I began to attend a school where dramatic testimonies were a regular part of morning chapel. Week after week, speakers—a drug addict, a party girl, an atheist—told of God’s rescue. I loved these stories, and today I am thankful for revivals of such “testifying” in places like this regular...
  • The Messiah Was Made Under The LAw...a nativity sermon pt 5

    But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.(Galatians 4:4-5)When God became a man, He put himself under the law. In every sense possible Jesus was yoked underneath the heavy load of the Law of God. The entire moral, sacrificial and ritual law were placed upon the MEssiah from birth. At the very beginning we are told of Jesus’ circumcision. He too was circumcised the eighth day according to the Law...
  • Today's Word with Joel Osteen - December 19, 2014 [Devotional]

    12/19/2014 4:38:35 PM PST · by Vision · 1 replies
    Email ^ | 12/19/14 | Joel Osteen
    Prospering in Everything Today's Scripture “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.” (Psalm 1:3, NRSV) Today's Word from Joel and Victoria Large trees represent power, majesty and stability. Have you ever noticed the difference between a tree planted by the water and a tree far away from water? The tree next to the water is much more healthy and vibrant. Its fruit and blossoms are more beautiful. In the Bible, the Word of God is compared to...
  • Daily Reflections with Oswald Chambers [December 19, 2014]

    12/19/2014 4:35:25 PM PST · by Vision · 3 replies
    The Focus Of Our Message " I did not come to bring peace but a sword. —Matthew 10:34 " Never be sympathetic with a person whose situation causes you to conclude that God is dealing harshly with him. God can be more tender than we can conceive, and every once in a while He gives us the opportunity to deal firmly with someone so that He may be viewed as the tender One. If a person cannot go to God, it is because he has something secret which he does not intend to give up— he may admit his...
  • The Catholic Con Regroups

    12/19/2014 2:53:33 PM PST · by NYer · 5 replies
    Catholic World Report ^ | December 18, 2014
    Gearing up for 2016, left-leaning Catholic political organizations prepare to make the case for the Democratic platform. Promising yet again to “move beyond partisan and ideological divisions,” the George Soros-supported Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) has refined its successful strategies of the past in its attempts to convince Catholic voters that the pro-choice Democratic nominees for public office in 2016 will do more to reduce the number of abortions than pro-life Republicans will. The group’s main argument supporting this claim is that Democrats will reduce poverty—a major factor in the choice to abort an unborn child.  It...
  • Strange Moments In Liturgical History – Paragon of Liturgical Tradition Caused Unintended Effects

    12/19/2014 1:46:27 PM PST · by NYer · 3 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | December 16, 2014 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    In the modern struggles and disagreements over the Liturgy, there tends to be a list of friends and opponents depending on one’s stance. For those of us with a more traditional leaning, Pope St. Pius X looms large as a friend and an image of tradition. He is usually seen as a defender of the tradition and a great proponent of what is called today the Extraordinary Form or Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)—so much so that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) takes its name from him.And yet things, people, and movements are seldom as simple as we would...
  • s Atheist Group's Complaint Backfires, Lands Nativity In Full Public View

    12/19/2014 1:37:55 PM PST · by Morgana · 18 replies
    cns news ^ | December 15, 2014 | Brittany M. Hughes
    (CNSNews.com) -- When the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) went after a city council in Jay, Fla., for displaying a nativity set on public property, the atheist group might have won a battle, but seems to have lost the war. The FFRF, known for protesting any and all religious displays in public places, sent a complaint letter recently to local officials in the 526-person city of Jay, arguing against the life-sized nativity that had been set up on the site every Christmas for nearly 40 years, the group said in a press release. In a letter sent to the city’s...
  • 4 Teachings Of Jesus That His Followers (Almost) Never Take Seriously

    12/19/2014 1:30:26 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 161 replies
    Revangelical ^ | 12/19/2014 | Brandon Robertson
    It’s no secret that those of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ consistently fall short of living up to the way of life of our Rabbi. Being a disciple of Jesus is a lifelong journey towards conforming ourselves to the image and way of life that Jesus taught. However, so often, followers of Jesus chose to blatantly ignore some of the clearest instruction of our Rabbi and obscure it with vague theology so that we can get off the hook. Other times, followers of Jesus are taught something explicitly contradictory to the plain words of Jesus and then spend...
  • Distancing the Dalai Lama: Is Vatican playing into Beijing's hands?

    12/19/2014 1:10:41 PM PST · by ebb tide · 4 replies
    Nerve.in ^ | Friday, 19 December 2014 | Amit Dasgupta
    " It was his efforts at peace that brought him the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite the huge popularity and respect he enjoys, he is not unaware of his increasing isolation by global leaders since being in Beijing's good books appears to be the global fascination. It remains to be seen how India reacts. It would be a sad day, indeed, if New Delhi also lacks the moral fibre and toes Beijing's line." Nobel laureates gathered in Rome last week were dismayed that Pope Francis had surprisingly refused to grant an audience to the Dalai Lama so as to not incur...
  • Christianity Attacked From Outside-Betrayed From Inside

    12/19/2014 10:44:40 AM PST · by Gamecock · 9 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 12/18/14 | Larry Fell
    1 Timothy 4:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)Warnings against False Teachers4 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.In looking around at what is happening in the world today I am convinced that now, more than ever before, the evidence is clear we are living in the times God as chosen as the final period before He, the Father, will send Jesus back to claim His...
  • 5 Big Problems with “Exodus: Gods and Kings”

    12/19/2014 9:13:57 AM PST · by millegan · 32 replies
    ChurchPOP ^ | 2014 | Michael Saltis
    When known unbeliever Ridley Scott was announced as the director, faithful film buffs feared the worst. Not only were many unsure whether he would treat the Biblical story with respect, but his film record since the smash hit Gladiator has been rather uneven (Robin Hood, Kingdom of Heaven, and Prometheus all failed to connect with wide audiences). As it turns out, Exodus is thankfully respectful of believers, if not a little ambiguous about the goodness of God. But sadly, a number of Scott’s artistic decisions effectively rob the story of its potential to entertain and to uplift. Here are five...
  • Catholic Word of the Day: MASSA CANDIDA, 12-19-14

    12/19/2014 9:06:50 AM PST · by Salvation · 7 replies
    CCDictionary ^ | 12-19-14 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary
    Featured Term selected at random:MASSA CANDIDA A group of about three hundred Christians at Carthage who hurled themselves into a vat of burning lime rather than offer homage to Jupiter (c. 253). St. Augustine wrote and spoke of them, and Prudentius wrote of their courage in poetry. All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
  • Pope Gregory the Great: Advice to the Married

    12/19/2014 7:59:09 AM PST · by Salvation · 24 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-18-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Pope Gregory the Great: Advice to the Married By: Msgr. Charles PopeEvery now and again when I write on Holy Matrimony, especially the Church’s more staunch biblical teachings (indissolubility, no contraception, etc.), someone will inevitably write in with a kind of sneer and wonder at or even laugh at a celibate man advising married people about marriage. To be sure, inner experience of something has its place, but so does external observance. I remember as a youth that my swimming coach, who was out of the water, would often correct us if our form was wrong, and advise us...
  • Catholic Playlist Show - Episode #67 - Dec 19, 2014

    12/19/2014 7:28:20 AM PST · by Berlin_Freeper · 2 replies
    catholicplaylistshow.com ^ | December 19, 2014 | God inspired
    Welcome to the last Catholic Playlist show of 2014! We’ve reached the 4th Sunday of Advent which means that Christmas and the birth of Christ is very near. This week’s show is going to be focused on just the music, with no commentary or song titles from me as we go down the playlist. In addition to some familiar favorites, we’ll be playing some music from the new O Come Let Us Adore: A Christmas Collective album. Songs by Matt Maher, Alanna Boudreau, PJ Anderson, Ike Ndolo, Marian Grace and many more. Enjoy the music...
  • Patton on Prayer

    12/19/2014 6:49:54 AM PST · by NKP_Vet · 22 replies
    http://the-american-catholic.com ^ | December 18, 2014 | Donald R. McClarey
    Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.” The famous “weather prayer” of General Patton was written by a Catholic Chaplain, Colonel James H. O’Neill, Chief Chaplain of the Third Army. Here is his article on the incident...
  • The Power of the Words We Speak

    12/19/2014 6:36:12 AM PST · by ShadowAce · 8 replies
    For The Family ^ | 28 Nivermber 2014 | Christina Fox
    “Mom!”“What!” I called back.“Could you please get me a drink?” my son responded.I breathed out a heavy sigh. “I just sat down,” I grumbled in response.The Power of a SighYet even as I spoke those words, the Spirit gently prodded my heart, convicting me of my sigh and tone of voice. You see, a sigh speaks volumes. It can roar just as loud in the heart of a child as yelling. It says “You are a burden.” “You aren’t worthy of my time.” My tone of voice also said more than words could. It said, “Leave me alone. You irritate...
  • Changes in Catholic Attitudes Toward Bible Readings

    12/19/2014 6:27:23 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 120 replies
    Average Catholics asked today how often they read the Bible likely would say that they do not read the Bible regularly. However, if asked how often they read Scripture, the answer would be different. Practicing Catholics know they read and hear Scripture at every Mass. Many also recognize that basic prayers Catholics say, such as the Our Father and the Hail Mary, are scriptural. But for most Catholics, the Scripture they hear and read is not from the Bible. It is from a worship aid in the pew. Scripture always has played an important role in the prayer life of...
  • The Pope Came for Bartholomew

    12/19/2014 6:25:11 AM PST · by marshmallow
    Hellenic News of America ^ | 12/18/14 | Cansu Camlibel, Hurriyet Daily News
    STANBUL — John Chryssavgis is an author and theologian born in Australia. He received his degree in Theology from the University of Athens. He also received a diploma in Byzantine music from the Greek Conservatory of Music during those years. He completed his doctoral studies in Patristics at the University of Oxford. He has lived in the United States for 20 years now, has worked in several universities and written a number of books. But he is also an active clergyman of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He received the title of Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Throne from Patriarch...
  • PopeWatch: Cuba

    12/19/2014 6:21:19 AM PST · by NKP_Vet · 3 replies
    http://the-american-catholic.com ^ | December 18, 2014 | Donald R. McClarey
    The Babalu Blog, the go to site for news on Cuba, predicted the papal involvement in the “normalization” of relations with Cuba announced yesterday by Obama: We’re not clairvoyants or prophets. We just deal with the facts. Eleven months ago, when Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Vatican, a Babalu post asked: “Will Pope Francis Bring About the Release of Alan Gross?” Here’s a quote from that post: How’s this for a scenario?: Pope Francis gets Alan Gross freed in exchange for the four Castro spies, and, on top of that, orchestrates the restoration of US/Castro diplomatic ties, along...
  • Charles Haddon Spurgeon :: Morning and Evening

    12/19/2014 6:17:44 AM PST · by redleghunter · 4 replies
    Blueletter Bible.org ^ | 19 December 2014 | Charles H. Spurgeon
    Morning and Evening Charles H. Spurgeon December 19, 2014 Morning Reading The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord. —Proverbs 16:33 If the disposal of the lot is the Lord's whose is the arrangement of our whole life? If the simple casting of a lot is guided by Him, how much more the events of our entire life—especially when we are told by our blessed Saviour: "The very hairs of your head are all numbered: not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father." It would bring a holy calm over...
  • What is the purpose of the Judgement Seat of Christ?

    12/19/2014 6:05:19 AM PST · by metmom · 31 replies
    Grace To You ^ | John MacArthur
    The Bible talks about the Judgment Seat of Christ--also referred to as the bema--in three places: Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:10--4:5; and 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Only church-age saints will appear at that judgment, as shown in 2 Corinthians 5:10: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." The purpose of the bema is an exhaustive evaluation of our lives. First Corinthians 4:5 says the Lord will come and "bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God." That passage reveals Paul's emphasis on...
  • Can God Prevent Evil?

    12/19/2014 5:48:05 AM PST · by Gamecock · 83 replies
    The Aquilla Report ^ | December 19, 2014 | Timothy J. Hammons
    I found this little ditty in the comments section of a theological liberal: Old Epicurean trilemma (although also attributed to Carneades the Skeptic):If God is unable to prevent evil, then he is not all-powerful. If God is not willing to prevent evil, then he is not all-good. If God is both willing and able to prevent evil, then why does evil exist? It sounds profound and deep, but the Bible has answered this question over and over again in its denunciation of our own goodness. When the man said to Jesus, “good teacher…” Jesus replied that only God was good. He...
  • What Was Mary Thinking?

    12/19/2014 5:42:34 AM PST · by Gamecock · 20 replies
    The Aquilla Report ^ | December 19, 2014 | Peter M. Dietsch
    Well, we’ve finally come to the end of our sermon series in the book of Genesis. This Sunday, December 21st, we will be looking at a passage from the first chapter of Luke as we consider the meaning of the incarnation and birth of the Son of God. At our Christmas Eve candlelight service, we will look at a couple of verses from Luke 3 and the significance of Jesus’ baptism (yes, you read that right – just come, you’ll see).Mary’s SongAs I’ve been preparing for the sermon this coming Sunday from Luke 1:39-55, I’ve been thinking a lot about...
  • Yes, Christians Can Support Torture: And They're Not Bad Christians For Doing So

    12/19/2014 5:36:17 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 14 replies
    The Federalist ^ | 12/18/2014 | D.C. McAllister
    In a recent post cited by Patheos, nondenominational pastor Brian Zahnd brashly proclaims “You Cannot Be Christian and Support Torture.” There is no possibility of compromise. The support of torture is off the table for a Christian. I suppose you can be some version of a ‘patriot’ and support the use of torture, but you cannot be any version of Christian and support torture. So choose one: A torture-endorsing patriot or a Jesus-following Christian. But don’t lie to yourself that you can be both. You cannot. …Any thoughtful person, no matter their religion or non-religion, knows that you cannot...
  • Pray For the Peace of Jerusalem(12/19/14)[Prayer]

    12/19/2014 5:14:33 AM PST · by left that other site · 17 replies
    The Holy Scriptures | 12/19/14 | left that other site
    Pray For the Peace of Jerusalem Character Studies From The Bible Abraham and Sarah New International Version (NIV) 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God....
  • Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-19-14

    12/18/2014 9:52:40 PM PST · by Salvation · 37 replies
    USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-19-14 | Revised New American Bible
    December 19, 2014Friday of the Third Week of Advent    Reading 1 Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites,whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children. An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her,“Though you are barren and have had no children,yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drinkand to eat nothing unclean.As for the son you will conceive and bear,no razor shall touch his head,for this boy is...
  • The Messiah Was 'Made of a Woman'....a nativity sermon pt 4

    But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.(Galatians 4:4-5)When the apostle Paul proclaimed the coming of Christ into this world, He spoke of the Messiah as being “Made of a woman”. What is the apostle referring to? In what way could we say that Saviour of the world, and God Incarnate, was “made of a woman”? The Apostle Paul, steeped in scripture, as was Jesus and all of the apostles,...
  • Pray For Our American Heroes and Our Nation (12/19/2014) [Prayer]

    12/18/2014 8:45:18 PM PST · by NEWwoman · 22 replies
    19 December 2014 | NEWwoman
    Pray For Our American Heroes and Our Nation Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come to you. Psalm 102:1 (NIV) ----
  • Pope Francis curses sinners

    12/18/2014 8:27:09 PM PST · by ebb tide · 45 replies
    The Tenth Crusade ^ | December 18, 2014 | The Tenth Crusade
    I kinda wasn't too surprised to hear the pope say he prays that people fall to temptation. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the kind of Catholics he curses. You know the irony of his ruthless perversion of prayer and role of a Pope? Catholics who want their religion taught to them are the very Catholics who humbly acknowledge their temptation and sin. That is why we constantly beg for pastoral perspectives on ways to recognize the devil long before he has us duped, ways to circumvent temptation and sin and remain in a state of Sanctifying...
  • Today's Word with Joel Osteen - December 18, 2014 [Devotional]

    12/18/2014 5:15:26 PM PST · by Vision · 1 replies
    Email ^ | 12/18/14 | Joel Osteen
    Go to the Place of Blessing Today's Scripture “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.” (1 Kings 17:3, ESV) Today's Word from Joel and Victoria In the scripture, the prophet Elijah was living in a certain city. God said to him, “Leave this place and go down to the brook Cherith for I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” When he got to the brook, every morning just like clockwork, the ravens brought him food. He had his provision; a prepared blessing. Here’s the key....
  • Daily Reflections with Oswald Chambers [December 18, 2014]

    12/18/2014 5:13:17 PM PST · by Vision · 3 replies
    Test of Faithfulness " We know that all things work together for good to those who love God… —Romans 8:28 " It is only a faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls his circumstances. We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. We act as if the things that happen were completely controlled by people. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith— the Lord Jesus Christ. God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring...
  • For Advent: Why Don’t Catholics Read the Bible? (They Do!)

    12/18/2014 5:00:17 PM PST · by Salvation · 199 replies
    HolySpiritInteractive.net ^ | not given | Dwight Longenecker
    Why Don’t Catholics Read the Bible?by Dwight Longenecker The independent Evangelical church I went to as a boy gave me a fantastic amount of Bible knowledge. There were Bible drills in Sunday School classes, Bible memory contests and Bible quizzes, not to mention a complete grounding in all the Bible stories—illustrated with those wonderful flannelgraph figures. As I got older I listened to long Bible sermons, went to home Bible studies, youth Bible camps and a Bible holiday club. I ended up going to a Christian University where Bible study was part of our everyday schedule. Our Christian home...