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“Persecution” of the Church in America

The Christian church is not being persecuted in the United States by restrictions on gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We’re certainly being inconvenienced, along with everyone, but that’s not persecution. We have not been asked to do anything that bars, restaurants, concerts, and sports venues have been asked to do. We are not being singled out for our faith.

As for constitutional rights, our Constitution’s preamble states as one of its purposes, “to promote the general welfare”. Would not protecting the general public from a raging pandemic be promoting our welfare?

And the First Amendment – even if we as Christians could legitimately claim that such promotion of our welfare denies our right to freely exercise our religion based on the Bill of Rights, does that not put our “constitutional rights” above our biblical responsibilities as ambassadors for Christ?

I wish my faith was as contagious as the newest strain of the coronavirus!

Because He lives,
Gary

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Love Kindness

As we see our culture move farther and farther from biblical principles, I’d like to recommend Dr. Barry Corey’s book, Love Kindness, (2016, Tyndall House Publishers). Dr. Corey is the president of Biola University.

He notes that Christians, and especially American Christians have become combative in recent years battling the cultural drift. “The ‘culture wars’”, he says, “have done little to change our society, and we’ve lost many if not all these wars. As a result, the church too often is marginalized and mocked, and increasingly people are viewing the Bible as just as intolerable as our aggressive tactics.”

Corey proposes kindness instead. “To be Christian, kindness must shape us and define us. But this powerful virtue seems to be characterizing us less and not more. We have lost an understanding of the power of kindness, mistakenly dismissing it as fluff or flat. Kindness needs to be rediscovered.”

The kindness that he proposes is not to be confused with niceness, which just goes along with the flow with an equally soft core of softness in what it accepts anything that comes along.

“Kindness,” he says, “is fierce, never to be mistaken for niceness.” … “Kindness is the way of firm centers and soft edges.”  It’s not the hardness of firm centers and hard edges, or the weakness of spongy centers and soft edges. Corey’s book is “an attempt to explain what this means – not so much to define as to describe it as I’ve seen it in different people in different settings.”

I plan to re-read it as encourage other Christ followers consider it.

Because He lives,
Gary

Posted by gary

Fireproof

I urge all couples to see Fireproof.
Since it has a clear Christian viewpoint, it’s not likely to remain in theaters very long. So hurry.
See the trailer here.

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“The List”

Lynda and I were pleasantly surprised to find “The List” in our local video rental store. It’s an adaptation of Robert Whitlow’s book of the same title. We hadn’t heard of it, but Lynda had noticed a book by that title on the “best seller” rack at the Christian book store an hour or two earlier. That’s what initially caught her eye. What surprised us initially was the the mention on the jacket that there was a group Bible study guide included in the extras. The movie’s theme surprised us even more – the prevailing power of prayer. It had established actors and was very well done.

I took two lines from this movie that I’m adding to my collection of quotes:
“God’s children and His enemies make the same mistake; they underestimate the power of prayer.”
and
“I have said prayers for you that I believe will be answered after my death.” (In a note left for Lenny, one of the main characters, by his mother before her death.)
— This last one reminds me of my aunt’s prayers for my cousin.

In an article reproduced on the movie’s web site (http://www.thelist-themovie.com/index.html), filmmaker Gary Wheeler says that he tells audiences that the movie can be condensed into one phrase – “the prevailing power of prayer.” He says, “We very much had someone on set praying all day, every day, because it’s a movie about the power of prayer. We had to live it out.”

Another line that struck me, which I didn’t copy exactly, is about forgiveness. The same character who referred to our mistake about prayer, Lenny’s landlady – a retired missionary – told how she was able to forgive. She wrote down all her complaints and took them before the Lord and let them go. Then she burned the list. (This isn’t the “list” of the movie’s title.)

Bottom line: We need to be taking prayer much more seriously.
“The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.” James 5:16b (NET)

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Novelaires – More music

As of yesterday I have a total of 22 songs posted to www.novelaires.crockermedia.com, with about 25 more available to prepare and post. One of the members from the early 1960’s, Roger Jones, sent a list of eleven more songs to add to the list of ones the either performed or had ready to perform. The list is now at 77.

Gary

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New Novelaires Web site!

I have finally started to put together a web site for the Novelaires quartet in all its variations (Crocker Boys, 3 Mistakes, Over the Hill Gang, etc). So far it’s just a start with a Christmas song (Winter Wonderland) recorded in 1985 in a practice session at Dad’s home. Take a look & a listen at novelaires.crockermedia.com. Note that none of the links in the navigation panel on the left go anywhere yet. That’s just an idea of my plans for the site.
Another of their songs can be heard at www.CrockerMedia.com (Whispering Grass).

Enjoy!

Gary

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Learning a bit about RSS

I’m a long way from really understanding it all, but I’ve begun the learning process for setting up the reading of an RSS feed.  This actually is a bit of a test of that.

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