God Running

Tragic Shooting at U of Alabama Huntsville – Video

Amy Bishop, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, was arrested for killing three of her fellow professors and wounding three additional University employees. In a faculty meeting, after sitting quietly for thirty minutes or so, she pulled out a 9 mm and started shooting. Some believe that the motive for the shooting was the University’s denial of her tenure. Bishop is a woman who was apparently successful in business, as she and her husband have recently invented an automated system that cultures cells — if successful their system could replace the petri dish. Yet she’s been quick to complain, even to new acquaintances, about the unfairness of her not making tenure. Complicating this recent tragedy is a report that 23 years ago, Bishop also shot her then 18 year old brother.

For more information go to Shaila Dewan’s article in the Salt Lake Tribune and a second article in The Huntsville Times.

Your Life:

Beware of unforgiveness!

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Matthew 18:21, 22:

Why did Jesus so emphasize forgiving others? Like every other admonition that God gives us in the Bible, it’s for our good. Dr. George Vaillant, the head of a Harvard University Study that followed 268 men over a 72 year period was asked,

“What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.” (Joshua Wolf Shenk, The Atlantic)

It’s been said that not forgiving is like drinking poison then expecting the other person to die. Forgiveness is freeing. Forgiveness opens up a life that is God’s best life for you. Having trouble forgiving someone? By far the best way to help yourself to adopt a forgiving attitude is to spend time with Jesus Christ. “And just how do I accomplish that?” you may ask. Spend time with the body of Christ in church, spend time in prayer, spend time in His word. Take communion and remember how He has forgiven you.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:14, 15

Applegate Christian Fellowship / Jon Courson

Helping Haiti — the rewards are great — an insider look

“Any time I’ve done something like this I find that I’m the one who winds up being blessed.”

I wrote that in a previous post, New 9/11 Photos From Helicopter , referring to a trip I made to help out in New York after 9/11. This photo is of a friend, Kellen Knott, (and one of his new found friends). He’s been job hunting and as you know, in this economy, job hunting is quite a challenge. In late January Kellen was fortunate enough to get an interview for a Paramedic position with an ambulance company — he was elated! Then, immediately after his interview, he was contacted by the nonprofit group Medical Teams International and asked to join a team headed for Haiti. Traveling to Haiti would be a once in a lifetime opportunity but what about the job? To complicate matters, Portland Fire Department is accepting applications. If he went to Haiti he’d miss that opportunity as well.

Kellen prayed about it and sought wise counsel from people older and more wise than himself, and, decided to go.

For an inside look at Kellen’s great adventure go to Kellen’s Blogspot.

Your Life:

If you go to Kellen’s blog you’ll find that while he sacrificed a couple of great job opportunities his rewards in Haiti have more than compensated. I doubt that he has any regrets. These types of trips are often life changing. If you ever have the opportunity to go…

Go.

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Proverbs 11:25

Millionaire Gives It All Away — Will live on $1,250 a month

This story blows my mind. Back in 1986 Karl Rabeder starts a furniture business. He works hard, things go well, and 24 years later he finds himself worth between 4.6 and 7 million dollars, depending on who’s telling the story. Recently he’s on his way home from a Hawaiian vacation, a great truth clunks him right on the noggin — he’s “dying from consumerism.” tonic.com So he decides to give it all away. He’s selling his cars, his plane, his luxury alpine villa. It’s all going to orphanages and the poor in South America. When it’s over he’ll be living on approximately $1,250 per month.

George Pitcher in his article at Telegraph.co.uk commends Rabeder for giving to the poor. And later in his article makes a great point when he writes,

The rich young man of the gospel was told to give his money to the poor and to follow Christ. So getting rid of the money is only half the job. (Matthew 19)

Your Life:

Jesus said

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Mark 9:44-48

Think about this! We are talking about eternity here — that’s a long time. If anything gets in the way of your relationship with Christ, give it up. Your hand — if you’re doing things that separate you from God; your foot — if you’re going places that separate you from God; your eye if you’re looking upon things that separate you from God.

Or your money.

Karl Rabeder gave it all to the poor. You and I should too if our money is a detriment to our relationship with Jesus. Do the whole job — follow Him.

Applegate Christian Fellowship / Jon Courson

Jesus’ First Missionary A Formerly Demon Possessed Man

Ever have doubts about your ability to be used by Christ? Consider the account of the Gerasene man who was possessed by a legion of demons:

When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Mark 5:2-13, 18-20

Your Life:

The following is from a teaching heard at Applegate Christian Fellowship.

Who, do you suppose, was Jesus’ first missionary? One of the twelve disciples perhaps? Paul the Apostle?

Nope.

Jesus’ first missionary was the Gerasene man. A man who only minutes before was possessed by a legion of demons. A man whose theology was only minutes old. A man whose doctrinal knowledge could be summed up in one sentence: “Jesus scared the hell out of hell.” Yet Jesus instructed him to, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And the result was that …all the people were amazed.

The key to being used is not your theological educational foundation. The key to being used is to share what you’ve heard from God’s word. Jesus said,

Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

Mark 4:24

Of course we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God. 2 Timothy 2:15  But the appetite for studying increases proportionally to the amount that we share with others, the amount that we “mete” out.

Are you teaching your kids the great stories of the Bible? Are you blogging to influence people for Christ? Are you leading a small home group? Are you sharing the gospel with neighbors? Don’t doubt God’s ability to use you. It’s more dependent on Him than it is on you. The key to being used is to give out the bread of life that you take in. In other words, you use it, or lose it.

From a Jon Courson teaching at Applegate Christian Fellowship, January 27, 2010

Christian NFL Pro Bowlers Support Tebow

More debate on Fox about Tebow’s Pro-Life Superbowl ad. This time Focus on the Family’s Jim Daily weighs in and Jehmu Greene again supports the pro-choice (pro-abortion?) view. (see previous posts Attackers of Tebow’s Ad Not Pro-Choice,  O’Reilly vs. Abortion Supporter on Tebow Ad,  Learn From Tebow — Stand for Something)

Several Christian NFL Pro Bowlers support Tebow’s Pro-Life Super Bowl ad.  According to the Baptist Press:

David Garrard, quarterback for the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars, said he appreciates Tebow for standing by his convictions.

“I applaud him for standing up for what he believes,” Garrard said after practice for the Jan. 31 Pro Bowl. “More people, more athletes should do the same.”

Philadelphia Eagles David Akers, one of the NFL’s most reliable kickers, said since he is “definitely pro-life” and has been through the adoption process in his family, he believes strongly in celebrating life.

“If you get into the politics of what should and shouldn’t happen, I’m definitely biblically based,” Akers said. “I think that’s creation and we shouldn’t harm it.”

As for a Super Bowl ad supporting a pro-life view, Akers said, “If someone’s paying for it, absolutely.”

“What’s the difference between their opinion on that or someone saying yeah or nay to alcohol,” he asked rhetorically.

Heath Miller, a tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers and a believer, said he appreciates those who encourage each other in their faith, and that he admires Tebow for his convictions and doesn’t believe anyone will change him.

“I think Tim has every right to use every stage to tell people what he believes,” Miller said, even a commercial during the Super Bowl. “He’s a football player, he can relay what he believes just as much as anyone else can.”

As far as the haters go, L. Brent Bozell III says it better than I can in his New York Post article, Feminist Fury at Super Bowl ‘Choice,’

Isn’t it a little strange to see people who present themselves as “pro-choice” get so upset when someone suggests their choice was to keep the baby?

Bozell’s article is one of the best I’ve seen on the issue. I highly recommend it.

Your Life:

Prayerfully consider speaking out for those who can’t speak out for themselves.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Proverbs 31:8

Michelle Duggar’s Health Endangered with Birth of #19 — Jim Near Tears — Video

This video is a preview to the season premiere of TLC’s TV program about the Duggars, a family with, well, with a whole bunch of kids. (see previous posts The Duggars and Be Fruitful) It’s a great inside look at the courage of this family as they face adversity. The premiere airs tomorrow, Sunday, January 31 at 8PM Eastern and Pacific on TLC. At the time of the video Michelle is less than six months pregnant. She’s suffering from preeclampsia and the health of both she and the baby are at risk.

This television show is so refreshing. Kudos to TLC for airing a show that portrays Christians in a positive light. This is in stark contrast to the Christian bashing that’s so often seen from Hollywood and most of the rest of television.

Your Life:

I’m told that there’s a movie about life on earth a few centuries or so into the future. In the movie, all of the world’s wise and intelligent people stop having children in order to devote their lives to their careers. The result is that the world becomes populated with people who are notably stupid and lacking in good judgment. (definition for moron from dictionary.com) Five-hundred years into the future, a cryogenically preserved man of average intelligence is awakened and found to be a super-genius relative to the rest of humanity.

Isn’t that what we Christians are doing when we don’t obey God’s command to be fruitful and multiply? Are you of above average intelligence? Are you a Bible believing Christian? Then have a bunch of kids! I’m not saying you should have as many as the Duggars, God bless them, but have plenty. All else being equal, the more believers on the planet the more we can influence the world for God’s kingdom.

As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

Genesis 9:7

Haiti – 16 Year Old Girl Rescued From Rubble – Video

Perhaps the best Haiti video to date. After she spent 15 days trapped under a collapsed building, rescue workers extricate sixteen year old Darline Etienne from the rubble.

Warning for parents: Parts of this video are not appropriate for young viewers — parents please preview it before deciding whether or not you’ll allow your children to watch.

For more information about Darline’s rescue go to ABC’s article, Amid Earthquake Devastation, Miracles in Haiti .

After 15 days!

Praise God.

Your Life:

Hope. Don’t let go of it. An experiment was conducted where a group of mice were placed in a bucket of water — they’d swim until after 30 minutes or so they’d become too fatigued to continue and drown. A second group was also placed in a bucket of water but just before 30 minutes was up the mice in this group were rescued. Days, weeks, or even months later this second group of mice, when placed in a bucket of water, would swim for hours before drowning. No feeling is more destructive than the feeling of helplessness. Despair is a killer. Cling to hope in the Lord at all costs no matter how difficult your circumstances. (from GoArticles)

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

Psalm 33:18

(Anecdote originally heard from Jon Courson at Applegate Christian Fellowship)

Life’s an Adventure

So around 7:30 pm last night Kathy gets off the phone and tells me, “A tree fell on our house, our rental house in California.”

“What?! A tree can’t fall on our house right now. We can’t afford a tree guy and I have things to do at work tomorrow that can’t wait.” I say, calmly (not!)

The weather in California has been terrible lately, flooding, high winds — just nasty. So we pray about it, I call the boss who graciously allows me the time off, we throw some stuff in the truck and head up to my parent’s house to load up a couple of chainsaws. (that they graciously loaned us) It’s already 11 pm by the time we ‘re heading South on I-5 to Cali. When we hit Mt. Shasta City it’s all snow and slush, we’re both fading out, but I want to push through the snowy part of the drive in case it gets worse over night. We make it down the hill and as far as Lake Head, at the North end of Lake Shasta, where we pull into a motel. It’s 1:30 am. The poor guy running the motel — I ring the bell and he staggers out in his bath robe, more than half asleep. He can’t get the computer to work, he can’t get the credit card machine to work. I can’t tell if they really don’t work or if it’s because the guy is still half asleep. Finally I give him cash and he gives me a receipt scribbled out on a piece of paper that he tore off the corner of a legal pad. We go to our room — what a dive! Looks like they haven’t redecorated since FDR was president. The paint is peeling, the linoleum in the bathroom is curling up. We don’t care, we’re so tired we just crash. After a solid 5.5 hours of sleep Kathy’s alarm goes off, we throw on our clothes and off we go. I call the office a little before 8 am and make some arrangements to accomodate our unexpected trip.

We pull into the driveway, walk around the back and low and behold there it is, a big tree on top of our roof. So I fire up the chain saw and cut the bottom off the partially unearthed root ball. Then I climb up onto the snow covered roof with the saw and do a balancing act across to the tree. Surprisingly I have decent traction on the snow and feel like I have a 70/30 or so chance of not falling off and breaking my neck. I fire up the saw and work for a 1/2 hour taking a couple of sections off the top. As I’m precariously perched on the edge of the snow covered roof, trying not to slip and cut off my arm, I hear a faint peeping noise, “what in the heck is that?” I think to myself. I turn off the saw, look down, and realize it’s my wife spouting off bits of important advice like, “don’t fall off the roof” and, “be careful not to cut off your arm.” Lucky she said something because I was just about to do both of those things just moments before she warned me. I fire the saw back up and continue for a minute or two but then the chain gets a piece of wood stuck in it and binds. So I head back across the roof but what’s this? Somebody changed the rules from the first time I crossed the roof. In the last forty minutes it started raining instead of snowing and the snow on the roof has transformed into slush that’s slicker than snot. I give myself a 30/70 chance of not falling off and breaking my neck. By God’s grace I make it, my neighbor offers his shop to fiddle with the saw. We get it fixed and finish the job.

The gutters are trashed, Doug the gutter guy tells me it’s going to cost plenty to fix it, I burned a day off, I have a day’s worth of work waiting for me tomorrow to clean up the mess, but hey, the tree’s on the ground, no one is hurt. I see God’s grace in it all.

Your Life:

Whatever you’re going through, you have a choice: you can take inventory on the good or you can take inventory on the bad. Your life can be a great adventure that you travel through with God, or, it can be a bummer. It’s your choice.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Life’s an adventure.

Jon Courson / Applegate Christian Fellowship

California Storm Causes Tree to Fall on House — My House

No post today — we’re experiencing some high winds in the Yosemite area. A good sized tree fell on our house there. We’ll be working on it tonight and tomorrow. More to follow. What we’re dealing with is nothing compared to Haiti or even the situation in this video. Pray for the Haitians, then pray for us.

In Him,

kurt

Haiti Earthquake — Haitians Don’t Lose Hope

A UK online news outlet called MailOnline has run a great story about some of the successful rescues that are occurring in Haiti, including the story of a two year old boy named Redjeson who was trapped in the rubble of his collapsed home for almost three days. Check out MailOnline and see this little guy. He was trapped for days calling out to his parents but as time wore on his cries became weaker and weaker but then… MailOnline . His face broke into a smile when he finally saw his mother as rescue workers carried him from the rubble.

This is just one example. Many lives have been successfully saved including the one pictured here being saved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

100114-G-1330O-104 Coast Guard crew evacuates injured from Haiti by US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Your Life:

Hope. Don’t let go of it. An experiment was conducted where a group of mice were placed in a bucket of water — they’d swim until after 30 minutes or so they’d become too fatigued to continue and drown. A second group was also placed in a bucket of water but just before 30 minutes was up the mice in this group were rescued. Days, weeks, or even months later this second group of mice, when placed in a bucket of water, would swim for hours before drowning. No feeling is more destructive than the feeling of helplessness. Despair is a killer. Cling to hope in the Lord at all costs no matter how difficult your circumstances. (from GoArticles)

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

Jeremiah 17:7

(Anecdote originally heard from Jon Courson at Applegate Christian Fellowship)

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