Archive for Ministry

The Golden Compass – what is it really about?

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Many of you may have seen this poster in the theatre or seen an advertisement on television. If you are anything like me, I was drawn immediately to the film for its artistic rendering. The work is beautiful. The storyline, as revealed, intriguing; much like sin. It is so attractive, so alluring, and so seemingly harmless and rewarding. However, this evening I received the following email:


THE GOLDEN COMPASS, a new movie targeted at children, will be released December 7, 2007. This movie is based on a the first book of a trilogy by atheist Philip Pullman. In the final book a boy and girl kill God so they can do as they please. Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that “My books are about killing God.”

The movie is a watered down version of the first book and is designed to be very attractive in the hope unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the the movie and that the children will want the books for Christmas.
The movie has a well known cast, including Nicole Kidman, Kevin Bacon, and Sam Elliott. It will probably be advertised extensively, so it is crucial that we get the word out to warn parents to avoid this movie.
You can research this for yourself. Start with this article on Snopes.com, then go to Google.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

So, I decided to check out the snopes link above which led me to further research the movie. I checked out the trailer and official movie website which can be linked by clicking on the image. Even while watching the trailer, I would have no inkling that the focus of the movie is to undermine Christianity and promote the pursuit of wordly pleasures because “all we have is the here and now.”

This will be a series of movies that will, I’m sure, mistakenly be associated with the likes of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia”. However, by reading the following article, you will see several references to the original series of books that will surely disturb most parents – Christian or otherwise.


An atheist’s ‘Narnia’ knockoff


Posted: October 26, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
On Dec. 7, 2007, the movie “The Golden Compass,” based on the first book in the fantasy trilogy entitled “His Dark Materials” by atheist Philip Pullman will be released in theaters throughout the world. Pullman wrote his fantasy trilogy because he was so upset by the Christian evangelism of C.S. Lewis in his wonderful series of Christian tales entitled “The Chronicles Of Narnia.” Pullman is an avowed atheist who has dedicated his life to undermining Christianity and the Church among young readers. The film’s release is only another example of a culture spiraling away from faith, a culture into which we must step in and declare truth. Pullman represents God as a decrepit and perverse angel in his novels, who captures the dead in a “prison camp” afterlife. As one fallen angel tells one of the novel’s young heroes:

The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty – those were all names he gave himself. He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves – the first angel, true, the most powerful, but he was formed of Dust as we are, and Dust is only a name for what happens when matter begins to understand itself.

When the hero finally finds this “god,” he is ultimately described as a “demented and powerless” creature that “could only weep and mumble in fear and pain and misery.” The boy then kills this “god” by breaking him out of his crystal cell, thereby evaporating him. The only “god” in this universe is matter.

Meanwhile, the Church is depicted as an organization bent on power, control and the torture of children by cutting. One-character notes of the Church:

Killing is not difficult for them; Calvin himself ordered the deaths of children; they’d kill her with pomp and ceremony and prayers and lamentations and psalms and hymns, but they would kill her.

One heroine in the story who turns from the Church did so when she realized “there wasn’t any God at all and … the Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.” Instead, the Church just kept her from finding love, thinking freely and pursuing bodily pleasures like sex. As she notes:

“I’d made myself believe that I was fine and happy and fulfilled on my own without the love of anyone else.” Later, she says, “I knew what I should think: it was whatever the Church taught me to think. … So I never had to think about [science] for myself.”

There is no heaven in this universe, just a dank and dreary “prison camp” afterlife. Pullman thought Christians’ positive view of the afterlife, like C.S. Lewis’, was a “celebration of death.” One of the characters the story’s exploring children run into in this hell pursued spiritual things while on Earth, and regrets it:

They said that heaven was a place of joy and glory and we would spend eternity in the company of saints and angels praising the almighty, in a state of bliss. … And that’s what led some of us to give our lives, and others to spend years in solitary prayer, while all the joy of life was going to waste around us, and we never knew.

The children in the story ultimately discover that true wisdom is doing what is right in their own eyes, becoming their own gods. As one of the heroes says:

“Don’t tell me. I shall decide what to do. If you say my work is fighting, or healing, or exploring, or whatever you might say, I’ll always be thinking about it. And if I do end up doing that, I’ll be resentful because it’ll feel as if I didn’t have a choice, and if I don’t do it, I’ll feel guilty because I should. Whatever I do, I will choose it, no one else.” “Then you have already taken the first steps towards wisdom,” said Xaphania.

The result of this “wisdom” is a focus on bodily pleasure over eternal truth. Although ambiguous as to what exactly happens, at the end of the novels the two children pleasure each other bodily and finally experience true joy.

The world of Pullman’s series mechanically mirrors that of C.S. Lewis. While “The Chronicles Of Narnia” starts with Lucy going into the wardrobe to get to Narnia, Pullman has Lyra going into a wardrobe. But, what Lyra finds is not the supernatural world, nor a world where God rescues His creation, like Narnia, but rather a world that ends in dust, where the highest meaning can be found in pleasuring each other, and God is just a sniveling old man who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Pullman’s world is a sad, animalistic universe. Since this is the only world there is, the trilogy ends in hopelessness. Love is not selfless giving, because that would be useless in a materialistic world. Love instead is the lust of pleasuring each other. In Pullman’s world, there’s no hope of eternal life where the lame and the blind and the deaf and dumb can walk and see and hear and talk, where the old are made youthful. There’s no heavenly banquet, there’s no loving God, there’s no order, and there’s no peace.

The logical consequences of Pullman’s atheism can be found in the lives of the leading atheists of the 20th century – Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – men who killed millions of their own people and had no respect for justice or love. Ultimately, it is a road that only leads to meaninglessness and murder.

We urge people of faith and values not to corrupt their children with the odious atheistic worldview of “The Golden Compass.” Instead, there are plenty of good movies this Christmas, such as “Enchanted,” that will build and not destroy values.

A society shaped by the materialist and godless ethic promoted by films like “The Golden Compass” is a society without hope. If there is no God and no eternity, if all that exists is matter, human life loses all value. Sex becomes the ultimate form of pleasure we can achieve, and unlimited autonomy from other people while being our own gods becomes the goal. A society like this will destroy itself.

And if you still haven’t had your fill of information regarding the movie, Wiki the movie and the author to read some quotes from the director and those who revered the original storyline:

Weitz said that New Line Cinema had feared the story’s perceived anti-religious themes would make the film financially unviable in the US, and so religion and God will not be referenced directly. Attempting to reassure fans of the novels, Weitz said that religion would instead appear in euphemistic terms, yet the decision has been attacked by some fans,[32] anti-censorship groups, and the National Secular Society (of which Pullman is an honorary associate), which said ” they are taking the heart out of it, losing the point of it, castrating it”,[33] “this is part of a long-term problem over freedom of speech.”

Pullman is an atheist and his objective is to promote atheism. Pullman has made remarks that he wants to kill God in the minds of children, and that’s what his books are all about. He despises C.S. Lewis and Narnia, etc. An article written about him said “this is the most dangerous author in Britain” and that Pullman would be the writer “the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed.” Pullman said he doesn’t think it is possible that there is a God and he has great difficulty understanding the words “spiritual” and “spirituality.”

I am a researcher. The last thing I want to do is express a strong conviction without having the knowledge to defend it. I encourage you to investigate this film and its origins. More importantly, I encourage you to protect your children from the all-too-attractive package in which this “magical” world is wrapped. It really is a beautiful banner, a beautiful cast, a beautiful use of artistic imagination. Remember, Lucifer was the most beautiful angel:

Isaiah 14:12-15 (King James Version)

12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Doesn’t that sound familiar? I will attempt to become God, and in doing so I will discover that life is hell. Well, I suppose that’s one truth Philip Pullman managed to incorporate in his writings.

Learn more about Pullman here.

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Healing rain: awakening soul survivors

While driving yesterday I was reminded of the power music wields in its rising and falling waves of notes.

You know what I’m talking about.

Those songs…the ones that transport us to the past and bring us face to face with who we once were, as if that person has been living within us all this time without so much as a whisper. It’s as if those pivotal ages/times in our life jar us to the point that they burn a copy of our very being into our soul and there they lie in wait; in a coma-like state, that 15-year-old forever remains in the recesses of our soul…until.

Until we are stirred. Until we are pierced. Until we cry.

Those are the tears that heal us. Those are the tears that wash away another layer of the substance that forgotten child clings to. Those are the tears that eventually leave them with nothing to hold fast to of what once was. Those are the tears that reveal the rainbow of what is and is to come.

So this begs the question – how many tears does it take to wash away a painful memory? How many soul survivors are living within us…

the five-year-old who said goodbye to their mother, not knowing it was the last time

the eleven-year-old left in the chasm of two families torn apart by divorce

the thirteen-year-old having lived through the screaming silence of sexual abuse

the fifteen-year-old trapped in the prison of physical and mental abuse

the twenty-five-year-old enduring the divorce that they swore would never plague their own children with

the thirty-five-year-old facing a seeming lifetime of singledom

the fifty-two-year-old hearing the word “cancer”…again.

The younger we are when a soul survivor is burned within us, the deeper the etching…the deeper the scar…the deeper the sleep…and the more intense the awakening. These are not the moments for strength.

These are the moments for weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:10

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

These are moments for tears.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance”

These are times for healing.

Psalm 6:6, 9

“I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.

The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayer.”

The soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no rain.

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Free Prayer

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So, we were driving down the road and my husband says, “See, there’s the couple I have told you about.” There on the side of the road was the couple you see here with neon orange signs that said, “FREE PRAYER” plastered to their motorcycle. I thought that it was such a great idea to minster to people right where their at (literally on the road in their car contemplating life) that we had to go back to encourage them and chat with them a bit about their ministry.

The name of their ministry is “Bikers with Boundaries” and Emil and Karen are the couple you see here. They started this ministry a few years ago and in that time have seen as many as seven cars stop for prayer in a day. They pray about the locations and days they are to set up. They truly believe that God makes the appointments and they simply have to be where He leads to be God’s hands and feet. What an awesome testimony!

Bikers with Boundaries is a self-supporting, non-profit organization. If you would like to donate to their ministry of reaching people with Divine appointments or simply send a word of encouragement, please check them out.

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National Day of Silence

Today marks the 11th annual National Day of Silence. For those of you who hadn’t heard or weren’t aware, “the event encourages students to take a vow of silence and to hand out cards explaining how their silence highlights the bias that often silences lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, [otherwise known as] LGBT, students.” In other words this is a day to celebrate tolerance of the aformentioned – even more accurately it is a day that is dedicated to somehow “helping” them by demonstrating the mandate we as a society have placed upon them to stay silent or remain in the closet so as not to be harassed or otherwise belittled.

Now, I have seen a vast range of responses to homosexuality, from those who harass, to those who speak muddled truth, to those who speak Truth, to those who speak the Truth in love. There is such tremendous irony in the title “National Day of Silence” simply because the day is reserved to respect and accept those it is dedicated to, however to keep silent is a condemnation to a life of dissatisfaction and pain. So often we forget that those who live in bondage to sin are not joyful. Oh sure, they may appear to be happy, and even be and feel happy at times, however their joy has been held captive without bond. They will never have the ability or means to pay their bondsman (Satan) for the release of their joy ; however, they will spend their whole life facing the rejection and sorrow of trying to do so. Only in Christ will they have the power to breakout of the confinment of sin and into a life of joy, the life He longs for us to live. I refuse to stand silent for homosexuals, but more importantly, I refuse to stand silent for God. I refuse to whisper about homosexuals as it is degrading, but more importantly, I refuse to whisper about my God and Savior. I refuse to shout names and label sinners, as I am a sinner just as you are. However, I will never refuse to spread the hope and joy found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am fully aware and do not long for you to be naive to the fact that the Christian’s life is not always a happy one. We are human beings in a fallen world, not exempt from the temptation of sin, the heat of emotions, and the seduction of the world. The difference does not lie in our world, but in our heart. We, as Christians, have the Holy Spirit residing within us to give us the strength to do anything within His will. I can assure you that includes the ability to overcome your addictions, be it to alcohol, shopping, drugs, gossip, sex (be it adultery, pornography, fornication, or homosexuality), outbursts of anger, overeating, or the grip of depression. Satan’s grip is sneaky, often not terribly uncomfortable, like asphyxiation by means of an invisible gas unnoticeable until it restricts us to the point of paralysis and pain. Only then does the deserving terror of the father of lies become tangible. And then only One can save us from our immenent fate.

Is your sin suffocating you? Are you so comfortable in your sin that it wasn’t until this moment that you felt Satan’s hands around your neck? Are you crying out for someone to love you the way you have been created to be loved? Your desire is a good one, a holy one, given you by your Creator because He wants to fulfill it! Sin is comfortable because we are creatures of habit in an instant society, but I can assure you that it will not bring you the comfort you are seeking. Your Heavenly Father desires to take you in His arms and shower you with blessings; to allow you to experience the love you have resigned yourself to believing is not for “someone like me”. “Someone like me” – what a subjective phrase. Please know this, God does not love us because we are worthy. We are worthy because God so loved the world He sent His only son for you and me…not someone like you…not someone like me. He sent His only son for YOU! Call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and claim Him as your father, your creator, your protector, the lover of your soul, your provider, your healer, your strength, your comfort, your joy, your peace, your contentment, your wisdom, your passion, your compassion, your completion, Savior, and your revivor. Breathe in deeply the breath of Life…eternal Life that is yours. The breath is often a painful one, as if you can been forced underwater until nearly all your oxygen supply was depleted yet you surfaced just in time. Your heart beats rapidly and your breath is piercing. A reminder that something real and life-saving just occurred. How many of us are living on shallow breaths, unaware?

“What a pity that we would rather worship tolerance than tolerate worship.”

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Do You Know Him?

How Do You Describe Him?

(click below for audio version)

 

Famous Sermon by Dr. Lockridge.

 

The Bible says my King is a seven way King. He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King; He’s the King of Israel – that’s a national King; He’s the King of Righteousness, He’s the King of the ages, He’s the King of Heaven, He’s the King of Glory, He’s the King of Kings and He’s the Lord of Lords!

 

He’s my King, Well, I wonder – Do you know Him?

 

David said the Heaven’s declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love, no far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply, no barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings.

 

He’s enduringly strong, He’s entirely sincere, He’s eternally steadfast, He’s immortally graceful, He’s imperially powerful, He’s impartially merciful,

 

Do you know Him?

 

He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world! He’s God’s son, He’s the sinners Saviour, He’s the centrepiece of civilisation, He stands in the solitude of Himself, He’s awesome and He’s unique! He’s unparalleled, He’s unprecedented, He’s the loftiest idea in literature, He’s the highest personality in philosophy, He is the supreme problem in higher criticism, He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology, He is the cause and necessity of spiritual religion. He’s the miracle of the age, He is – yes He is, He is the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him, He’s the only one who is qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour;

 

I wonder if you know Him today?

 

He supplies strength for the weak,
He’s available for the tempted and the tried,
He sympathises and He saves,
He strengthens and sustains, He guards and He guides,
He heals the sick, He cleansed the lepers,
He forgives sinners, He discharges debtors,
He delivers the captives, He defends the feeble,
He blesses the young,
He serves the unfortunate,
He regards the aged,
He rewards the diligent and
He beautifies the meek

 

I wonder if you know Him?

 

Well, my King He is a King! He’s the key to knowledge, He’s the well spring of wisdom, He’s the doorway of deliverance, He’s the pathway of peace, He’s the roadway of righteousness, He’s the highway of holiness, He’s the gateway of glory

 

Do you know Him?

 

Well, His office is manifold, His promise is sure, His life is matchless, His goodness is limitless, His mercy is everlasting, His love never changes, His word is enough, His grace is sufficient, His reign is righteous, and His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

 

I wish I could describe Him to you!

 

He’s indescribable, yes He is, He’s incomprehensible, He’s invincible, He’s irresistible, you can’t get Him out of your mind, you can’t get Him off of your hands, you can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.

 

Well, the Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him, Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him, the witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree, Herod couldn’t kill Him, death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him!! That’s my Jesus! That’s my King!

 

And Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever and ever and ever (how long is that?!) and ever and ever and when you get through all of the forevers then AMEN! Good God Almighty, AMEN! AMEN!

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Helping : Orphaned by AIDS; adopted by God.

Bowl Hug Helping Hands

 

We often forget the true definition of “reality” cannot be defined by our own. -victoria sheahan

I have been burdened to share a bit about Helping Hands, a ministry serving those children orphaned to AIDS. I was so blessed to go to Mafikeng, South Africa the summer of 2004. The transpiring of this arrival, in and of itself, is a gift from God that I will never forget and one that I could never do justice through mere words. I have had a heart for the people of Africa as far back as I can remember. It was an intrigue that kept me intent in the eyes of National Geographic photos for hours on end. I could see a story in the eyes of its people that was far beyond the words on the page. It struck my soul and gave me a fire that would be ignited physically and undeniably as an adult.

The child you see above is standing in a line to receive her one meal for the day. She clings tightly to her bowl, for it is the prized possession that guarantees her meal. But even “guarantee” is a false hope if you are one of the children that remain when the last has been scraped from the bottom of the pot. The need is overwhelming, hope a neccessity, and the smiles are those of children who find peace in the embraces of strangers. The arms of a stranger who give hugs that feel so much like those they received from their own parents once upon a time.

“Once upon a time” has always seemed to convey the beginning of a story of hope…one that happened long ago and has since faded from the memory but was reawakened by the mere utterance of four magical words. But the embrace of a mother or father that happened “once upon a time” brings tears to the eyes of the child who realizes that those words hold no magic to bring them back.

Helping Hands strives to write a new story for these children. They long to breathe hope back into the words “once upon a time”. They long to share the most powerful, life-changing, and magical “once upon a time” life of Jesus Christ; the author of our hope. Helping Hands feeds well over one thousand orphans and they aspire to be blessed with the ability to feed many more. I am sure there are a number of people who wonder why we went all the way to South Africa, and I do have so much to say about this topic, but I can sum it up by simply saying this: there are more orphans than there are arms to hold them and this is a hunger even deeper than the one that pains their bellies at night. If you would like to learn more about Helping Hands and the opportunities available to you to minister to the children of South Africa, check out their website…

“I asked, ‘Why doesn’t somebody do something?’ and then I realized I was somebody.” – unknown

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