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Headlines (December 11)

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The Beginning of the End – With the emergence of Personal Video Recorders and other similar devices, we may be at the beginning of the end of the commercials we see on television. So many people simply skip over commercials now that many companies are beginning to re-evaluate how they advertise on television. Product placements are becoming a standard part of almost every show these days, especially on “reality” shows. The latest idea is to make instantly available to online shoppers whatever they see on television. If you like the sweater someone is wearing on your favorite show, you can go to a web site, select that show and browse through the various products you saw on the screen just moments earlier. It is quite an interesting idea, actually. You can read more about it here.

Prosperity Gospel – Here are some quotes courtesy of the Calvary Contender. “In a 1997 TBN telecast, Paul Crouch said: “If you have been healed or saved or blessed through TBN and have not contributed…you are robbing God and will lose your reward in heaven.” John Hagee says: “When you give, it qualifies you to receive of God’s abundance,” and, Hagee adds, “If God gives to you before you give to Him, God Himself will become a liar. If you are not prospering, it’s because you are not giving.” Another popular charismatic, Benny Hinn, is quoted in the December 14 Alabama Baptist as saying salvation and healing should never be separate.”

Decline in Teen Sex – I never would have guessed, but according to a study by the The National Center for Health Statistics, fewer teens are engaging in sexual activity than even a few years ago. “girls aged 15 to 17 the percentage who had ever had intercourse declined from 38 percent in 1995 to 30 percent in 2002” while for boys the decline was 43 percent to 31 percent. Those teens that do have sexual intercourse are more likely to use contraceptives than they were even ten years ago. One has to wonder if they are looking only for teens who have actually engaged in intercourse and if they are discounting other sexual activity. I woudl be shocked to learn that both have decreased in recent years. Read more here.

Festive Bush – We are off to select and chop down our festive bush this morning. That way we can participate in our non-offensive, non-religious, don’t-you-dare-say-Christ holiday celebration. When we take Jesus out of the season we are left with honoring greed and consumerism, aren’t we?

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…