Thought For The OPEN Mind - Humor From American Culture!
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GOD'S BLUEPRINT FOR HAPPY HOMES No nation is stronger than its homes. One Chinese proverb says,"If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in thenation." The family unit is the basic foundation on which human society is built. The fragmentation of our families, however,will prove to be the destruction of our civilization. Four prevalent attitudes attack our homes from every side.Secularism advocates, "Grab for all the gusto you can becauseyou only go around once in life!" Materialism says, "Get more,buy more, build more!" Sensualism joins in by bombarding uswith immorality and perversion through the media. Secular humanismconcludes, "Glory to man in the highest--away with deity." No matter what these philosophies claim, they have managedonly to erode the family unit. Why? Because they oppose God'sblueprint for happy homes. After all, He invented the family.And He has given us His blueprint in the Bible so we can discoverwhat He says to spouses, parents, and children. First of all, the Bible teaches that we are to rest in eachother's strength. Ephesians 5:21 says, "Submit to one anotherout of reverence for Christ." Because Christ is the Lord of ourfamily, we should treat each other with respect as He has instructed. I can't have my way all the time, nor can my wifeor children. We must seek to do things God's way. Submission is necessary for order and stability. Otherwise,everyone tries to do his or her own thing without any accountability.One hit song boasts, "I did it my way!" Go ahead and do it yourway--and see how many people you hurt in the process, including yourself. Sometimes we have this idea that the man can't show anyweaknesses. He must wear a mask to cover up his true feelings.But that's false! The Bible teaches that the husband is to rely on his wife andshe is to rest in him as the spiritual leader of their home.This doesn't mean that either is inferior. Men and women are equalin God's eyes. Paul makes this clear when he says, "There isneither . . . male nor female, for you are all one in ChristJesus" (Galatians 3:28). God knows the family functions best with a leader. That's whyHe has designated the man to take that responsibility withinthe home and exercise it with love. Sometimes my wife, Pat, isbetter at making rational decisions than I am. Yet she rests uponme to make the final choices that must be made in our home. Butin turn, I often rely on her counsel and advice. We complementand support each other. As children see their parents' mutual submission to each other,they more easily respect and obey their father and mother(Ephesians 6:1-3), especially if they are disciplined in love fortheir own good (Hebrews 12:5-11). God's blueprint for happy homesdoes make a difference! I encourage you to read the Bible and pray as a family each day to learn more about His blueprintfor your home.To Ponder What is God's blueprint for happiness in your home? To whatdegree have you followed and benefited from that blueprint?
December 28, 1942US Congress officially recognized the "Pledge of Allegiance." Pledgeoriginally read: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republicfor which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty andjustice for all." The words "the flag of the United States of America" were added, along with "under God."More on the history of the Pledge:http://www.vineyard.net/vineyard/history/pdgech0.htm
A little girl had just finished her first week of school."I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother."I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"
A lawyer's wife dies. At the cemetery, people are appalledto see that the tombstone reads: "Here lies Shirley, wife of Morris Rosen, L. L. D., Wills,Divorce, Malpractice, and Immigracion Legal Services " Suddenly, Morris bursts into tears. His brother says,"You SHOULD cry, pulling a cheap stunt like this onShirley's tombstone !" Through his tears, Morris sobs, "You don't understand!They left out the phone number!"
Bill died, leaving a will that provided $30,000 for an elaborate funeral. As the last of the visitors departed the services, his wife, Lynne, turned to her dearest friend, Sue, and said, "Well, I think Bill would be pleased." "I'm sure you're right," replied Sue, who then lowered her voice and leaned in close. "How much did this really cost?" "All of it," said Lynne. "All thirty thousand." "No!" Sue exclaimed. "I mean, it was very nice, but $30,000?" Lynne replied, "Yes. The funeral was $6,500; I donated $500 to the church, and the wake, food and drinks were another $500. The rest went for the Memorial Stone." Sue computed quickly and asked, "$22,500 for a Memorial Stone? My goodness, how big is it?" "Two and a half carats."
DISPATCH FROM JERUSALEM: BUSH SPEECH SEEN AS PREPARING FOR WAR WITH IRAN By Joel C. Rosenberg www.joelrosenberg.com (Jerusalem, Israel) -- "Our best case scenario is for missiles to be hitting us in the next year or two. Either the West goes to war to stop Iran from going nuclear, and Iran fires conventional missiles at us in retaliation, or the West waits too long and Iran launches a nuclear first strike at us. Either way, a terrible war is coming. It cannot be avoided." That's the sobering assessment a senior Israeli political leader shared with me over breakfast this week. In that context, President Bush's recalibrated Mideast strategy is resonating positively here. The combination of 20,000 more U.S. troops in Iraq, a second U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier headed towards the Persian Gulf, the buildup of more anti-missile batteries near Iran, and a flat out rejection of appeasement talks with Iran and Syria indicates that the White House is not only serious about defeating the forces of radical Islam in and around Baghdad, but may in fact be gearing up for a military showdown with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his fanatic disciples in 2007. Secretary of State Condi Rice, here in the region this week, downplayed that view somewhat, saying in Jerusalem that "the U.S. is simply responding to Iranian activities that have been going on for a while now that … endanger our forces." But there is no question that the Arab and Iranian press are interpreting the President's moves as a step towards war. I've been in Israel for the past ten days filming an EPICENTER documentary for network broadcast and nationwide release later this year. Picking up on the themes from the book, the film will focus on the urgency of the Iranian nuclear threat; how Shiite eschatology is driving Iranian foreign policy; why Russia is selling Iran missiles, submarines and nuclear technology; the differences between Islamic conceptions of end times prophecy and Judeo-Christian expectations of the last days; and how evangelical Christians and Israeli Jews can work together in light of this common enemy. Exclusive interviews this week included: * Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister and current Likud leader * Natan Sharansky, former Deputy Prime Minister and founder of OneJerusalem.org * Moshe Yaalon, former Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff * Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and author of the forthcoming book, THE FIGHT FOR JERUSALEM I asked Netanyahu how much time the West has to stop Ahmadinejad. "Not much," he said, noting that when he was Prime Minister both India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons to the shock of all Western intelligence agencies and that Iran could be much closer to getting the Bomb than anyone realizes. "Nothing else matters -- not Iraq, not the peace process with the Palestinians -- if Iran is allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. They must be stopped." Sharansky warned that action needs to be taken in 2007, or it could be too late. Ambassador Gold told me that Ahmadinejad's cult of "Twelvers" -- Shiites feverishly preparing for the coming of the Twelfth Imam, or the "Mahdi" -- recently claimed to have pre-positioned sleeper cells of Mahdi warriors in Jerusalem and that Messianic fever is sweeping the Shiite crescent from Iran and southern Iraq to Lebanon. [A very special thanks to the staff of OneJerusalem.org who arranged these interviews for us. They are one of the leading organizations in the U.S. and Israel in helping journalists and bloggers understand the threats facing Israel and making top experts available for interviews.] In addition to interviews, we've been doing a lot of on-location filming, including in the Netanyahu tunnels underneath the Old City, on Har Megiddo (the mountain known in the Bible as Armageddon), and Yad Vashem (the Holocaust memorial). The most remarkable moment of the week - aside from the half hour I spent interviewing Netanyahu this afternoon - was an hour-long helicopter ride with our film crew flying over Israel and Jerusalem at sunset. It was absolutely breathtaking. The footage is amazing. I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do something like that. Can't wait for you to see it. I'll give you updates on the progress of the documentary in the weeks ahead. Another objective of these past ten days was for Lynn and myself and members of The Joshua Fund board to meet with top Israeli evangelical and Messianic Jewish leaders find ways to bring more humanitarian relief into the country both to care for the poor and needy as well as to pre-position emergency relief supplies for the coming war with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. I'll have more specifics to report to you on The Joshua Fund's plans and partnerships in the next week or so. Thanks so much to all of you who have invested in this work to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. It could not be more urgent. By the way, I'd appreciate your prayers concerning an interesting opportunity that has arisen. I've been invited by a top Iranian evangelical leader to teach for three days on "God's Love and Plan For Iran" in a series of programs that will be televised live by satellite into Iran in February. Each broadcast will be shown in prime time and seen by an estimated three to five million Iranians. The programs will be available to about 80% of Iranian households and could be seen top mullahs and intelligence officials, as well as Ahmadinejad himself. My talks will be translated simultaneously -- phrase by phrase -- into Farsi and since the programs are live, I will be able to respond in real time to phone calls and emails, answering people's questions about the differences between the Islamic conception of the Messiah and the Biblical teachings about the Second Coming of Jesus, as well helping both Iranian Christians and Shiites understand the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39. The programs will then be turned into a DVD to create a teaching tool for thousands of underground pastors operating in house churches throughout Iran. I'd be grateful for your prayers for wisdom to communicate accurately and clearly, and for physical and spiritual protection for myself and my family. Thanks so much.
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