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Showing posts from April, 2008

Shalom!

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Praise God for the privilege He gave my wife Ellen and me to join an educational study tour in Jordan and Israel, the Promised Land! I will be uploading more pictures in the future. Shalom!


Church At A What?

The ad of Country Rock Church says it all: “A New Kind Of Church For Real People Wantin’ A Real Faith.” As its main attraction, it touted, “For Real! Top Regional Bands, Pizza, Wings, Rowdy Fun And A Short Message.” Where? “At A Pub In Sydney.”

At a what? Yes, you read it right. This “barroom church” meets every Sunday night at the Pub Lounge in Sidney, Western Ohio (USA). Rev. Chris Heckaman of Sidney United First Methodist Church is constantly on a lookout “for creative ways to reach people in unconventional places.” I just could not imagine what he meant by “rowdy fun” but the “short message” of Heckaman “compared staying on the bar’s mechanical bull to learning how to get along in life.” (Source: Yahoo! News) In my mind, I see the pastor holding on to the saddle for his dear life as he rides a mechanical bull that simulates the wild kicking and spinning of a (what else?) bull in a rodeo. Then, catching his breath while picking himself up from the ground after the bull threw him of…

Ploning

[Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion and does not represent in any way Makati Gospel Church.]

We Christians almost lost the culture wars by default. I said “almost” because I am an optimist. I still believe we can still make a difference. Still, by God’s grace, we can make an impact in our society.

People say “Indie” (short for “independent”) films do not make money. Why? They tackle serious topics that the bigwigs in the movie industry won’t dare to produce because they say it will not be a box-office hit. So those big movie outfits (not all of them I hope), with their big budget and big name stars, settle for the moneymaking formula (Read: sex and violence). Thus, people turn to Hollywood movies instead. As a result, the local movie industry is dying or what we see now are the death throes. Sadly, those who do produce Indies churn up movies with, as someone noted, “the stereotype images of third world poverty, sex and gambling trade and violence proliferating from current crop o…

The Risk of Love

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Jim and Lisa Koehne (pronounced KAY-na) felt they gave what a transplant surgeon called “a gift from the Almighty” when they donated the organs of their 15-year-old son Alex, who at that time doctors thought died of bacterial meningitis.

But, autopsy showed that Alex actually died from a rare form of lymphoma. The Koehnes later learned that a 52-year-old man who received their son’s liver died a few months later of the same blood cancer. Then a 36-year-old woman who received the donor pancreas also died from lymphoma. Two recipients of the donor kidneys had it removed and are now getting cancer treatment.
(However, please do not give up your donor cards. Experts assure us that such case of getting cancer from an organ donor is extremely rare, as in only 64 in a study of 230,000 cases in the U.S.)

Despite what happened, the Koehnes do not regret their decision to donate the organs of their son. They still believe that organ donation saves lives. They have even started a foundation to fund…

The Gospel According to Oprah?

Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey (whom Time and CCN called “arguably the World’s most powerful woman”) was listening to a sermon in a Baptist church on the characteristics of God.

Oprah was shocked to hear that God is “a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5, NIV). She claimed this led her to search for the truth: “God is jealous of me? And something about that didn’t feel right in my spirit because I believe that God is love… And so that’s when the search for something more than doctrine started to stir within me.” That’s when she allegedly “took God out of the box”. (Source: http://www.probe.org/)

Sadly, her quest led her to turn her back away from the Biblical faith she claimed she had since childhood. She became “an evangelist for smorgasbord spirituality.” Now, over 2 million people from 139 countries have already participated with Oprah Winfrey in a live Web-based seminar on Eckhart Tolle’s bestseller, “A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.” (Due to space limitations, I cannot discuss the…