Author Archives: grelanmuse

NBA MVP Curry shining light for Jesus, on and off the court

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By Michael Ashcraft and Mark Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service

Stephen Curry, who picked the lock to Cleveland’s defense to win the NBA championship, likes to point people to “the Man who died for our sins onStephen Curry the cross.”

Curry was named the NBA 2015 most valuable player and led the Golden State Warriors to the championship, but he said worldly prizes don’t compare with Heavenly ones.

“I know I have a place in Heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top,” Curry told Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

LeBron James seemed to be willing his way to the championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers, without two of his supporting stars who were injured. Curry was floundering with low points as the finals initially favored the Cavaliers 2-1.

Then Curry, 27, started dropping his trade-mark, high-arched three-pointers. When double-teamed, he would make miraculous passes. And for the rest of the finals, the Cavaliers played a futile game of catch-up as the Warriors won each of the next three games to clinch the championship.

Curry was 13 when he accepted Jesus as his Savior. “It was a big decision that my parents couldn’t make for me,” he said. “It’s been a great walk since then. He means everything to me.”

With Christian humility at the MVP ceremony, Curry showed up void of all the mad-dogging swagger of other superstar ballers. He credited his wife for being his “backbone” and his parents for teaching him that studying and washing the dishes were more important than basketball.

“First and foremost, I have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with the talents to play this game,” said the 6’3”, 190-pound point guard. “I’m His humble servant right now, and I can’t say enough how important my faith is to who I am and how I play the game.”

Steph – as he’s called by his teammates – was raised in Charlotte, NC, the son of a 16-year NBA veteran. He had a brother and a sister. His mom was something of a Christian disciplinarian, keeping the sports-obsessed boys on track with firmly established priorities.

“How we did in school growing up was important,” he said. “If we didn’t handle that business, there were no privileges. I remember sitting out my first middle school game because I didn’t handle my stuff at home. That was a pretty embarrassing moment if you go to your first middle school game and you have to tell your fellows, ‘Hey, I can’t play tonight. I didn’t do the dishes at home.’ That lesson taught me there’s more to life than basketball.”

His rise to prominence was unlikely. He was told he was too short, too lightweight, not physical enough. His high school had only moderate interest in his play. But Curry ignored the criticism and focused on what he could do. He developed an exquisite sharp-shooting touch that eventually silenced critics and left opponents shaking their heads.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

His Under Armour gear is trade-marked “4:13” from Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”Curry 4:13 shoes

At Davidson College in North Carolina, he led the Wildcats on consecutive NCAA title runs. After his junior year, the Warriors drafted him in 2009.

In the summer of 2013, Curry joined a mission trip to Tanzania. He donated 816 mosquito nets to African refugees to fight against malaria. He calculated the unusual number of nets by multiplying by three the number of three-pointers he had scored the previous season.

Not only does Curry lead his team on the court, he leads them off the court with his Christian example. Most of the players are Christians. They attend chapel before every game. Their devotion to Christ is so note-worthy that the San Jose Mercury News called them “choirboys.”

“The Holy Spirit is moving through our locker room,” he told Breaking Christian News. “It’s allowing us to reach a lot of people, and personally I am just trying to use this stage to share how God has been a blessing in my life and how He can be the same in everyone else’s.”

The ever-cool, baby-faced three-point-maker keeps improving, looking to extend his basketball legacy and all the while shine his light for Jesus.

“Basketball has always had a special place in my heart,” Curry said. “And being saved is a great feeling. There are so many things we have to overcome in this life. Jesus, through his work on the cross, has paid the ultimate price for us. I’m proud to be a child of God.”

Individual Curry photo courtesy of The Associated Press; “4:13” shoes from Godreports.com.

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Nixon: When brethren fall

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By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that the persecution of Christians is at an all-time high around the world. According to Open Doors, the ministry started by Dutchman, Brother Andrew, the persecution of Christians has reached “historic levels.” Yet when one thinks of persecution, we normally don’t think of the United States of America. Rather, our minds wander to the Middle East or Africa. After all, one asks, wasn’t America founded upon a Judeo-Christian worldview? The answer of course is, yes, the European influence upon America was founded upon a Christian ethic.

But as the recent news of the massacre on the night of June 17 at Emanuel AME Church shows (where nine innocent people were killed), America – black, white, Middle Eastern, Asian, or Native American — is not immune to persecution. This particular hate crime focused on African Americans, making it that much more heinous. But it must be noted that they were African American Christians, people who were studying the Bible and praying; they were seeking Christ and His kingdom.

How our hearts should ache.

As the various media outlets look for answers to the crime (as they should), we Christians need to provide a different kind of answer: those from God’s word and witness – the testimony of His people working in love.

In a tragedy like this, there is no room race politics or parading. Rather, our response as Christians should be one of prayer and provision for our fallen brethren and their families.

When one part of the Body of Christ suffers, we all suffer; when several of His children are hurt, we all are hurt. Why? We stand as a body of One (Ephesians 4:5-6).

Remember to pray for the Emanuel AME Church and the families affected by this horrific crime of persecution, one filled with hate for people of color. But let this tragedy be an opportunity to demonstrate our love for one another (John 13:35); let the heartbreak of this event turn our hearts toward our brethren around the world facing similar tortuous acts, showing them the love of Christ, and showering them with the prayers of His people.

Photo caption: Worshipers embrace following a group prayer across the street from the scene of a shooting at Brian_NixonEmanuel AME Church, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). As a published author, editor, radio host, recording artist, and visual artist, Brian spends his free time with his three children and wife, painting, writing music, reading, and visiting art museums.

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Suspect in shooting at Charleston AME church apprehended

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By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

The gunman in a deadly shooting rampage at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., has been captured by the police.

Dylann Storm Roof, 21, was arrested during a traffic stop in Shelby, N.C., as reported by Reuters, 14 hours after Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church at opened fire on the congregants during the prayer meeting on June 17. Greg Mullen, Charleston Police Chief, said Roof is cooperating with authorities. The FBI is investigating the church shooting as a hate crime.

The Associated Press reports Roof attended the meeting and stayed approximately an hour before the shooting, said Greg Mullen, Charleston Police Chief.

Of the dead is the church’s pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, 41, D-Columbia. The married father of two wasrevpinckney elected to his seat at 23. Mullen said the names of the victims will be released once their families have been notified.

Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley told The Associated Press the shooting is an “unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy.”watch Noctiflora film now

“Of all the cities, in Charleston, to have a horrible hateful person go into the church and kill people there to pray and worship with each other is something that is beyond any comprehension and is not explained. We are going to put our arms around that church and that church family.”

Immediately following the shooting, pastors and citizens held a prayer vigil outside Emanuel AME. Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston hosted a community prayer service in remembrance on June 18.

The Emanuel AME church traces its roots back to 1816, when several congregations split from Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal Church. Historical records show one of the church’s founders, Denmark Vesey, tried to organize a slave revolt in 1822. Vesey was caught and white landowners burned his church in revenge. Its congregants also played a part in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. In the wee hours of June 17, The King Center tweeted an undated photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worshiping at the historic church.

Photo caption: Surreace Cox, center, of North Charleston, S.C., holds a sign during a prayer vigil down the street from Emanuel AME Church during the morning of June 18. (The Associated Press)

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Nixon: Are Satan and demons real?

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By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST New Service

Albuquerque, N.M. (ANS)I’m privileged to host a call-in radio broadcast called Theology Thursday on Star 88. OnBrian Nixon this broadcast we answer a host of questions on various biblical topics. This past week we covered angels and demons, with great questions from our listeners. Because of the general interest, here are some quick facts about angels and demons.

There are many false ideas about Satan and demons in the world today. We live in a world where two extremes exist concerning the realm of the supernatural. On one hand, there are groups of people who deny that the supernatural realm, saying that angels and demons, and even God, are not real. We call these folks, materialist, because they only believe that the material world (that which we can see, touch, and test) is real. On the other hand there are groups of people who do believe that the supernatural world exists. They believe in God, angels, and the like. This group of people we will call supernaturalist, because they believe that there is a supernatural world, beyond what we can touch, test, and see.

As Christians, we would fall under the supernaturalist category. However, we must be careful in how we describe the supernatural world, and here in is where the problem lies: not all supernaturalist believe the same thing about the supernatural world. As an example, Christians are not like the animist who believes that good demons fight bad demons, or that our relatives walk on the earth in the form of ghosts, as some religions teach. No! As Christians we must adhere to a biblical view of the supernatural world. It is very important to get our information from the Bible about the things we cannot see, touch, and test.

Angels are mentioned 196 times in the Bible. 103 references are found in the Old Testament, 93 from the New Testament. The Hebrew word for angels is mal’ach; the Greek is angelos. Both words mean “messengers.” Angels areDemons-and-Angels spiritual beings created by God to serve Him. Some of the angels rebelled, of which we get the term, demons. We don’t know exactly when the demons rebelled (some suggest sometime after the creation of the universe in Genesis 1), but the Bible is clear who the leader is: Satan.

Biblical truth is very important when we turn to the subject of the supernatural and demons. Some would have you believe that demons are under every rock, behind every door, and controlling every politician. As Christians, we must check these statements with what the Bible teaches about demons. So it is to the Bible we turn to give you some points to ponder and think through regarding demons.

1) The Bible teaches that demons are real.Watch Full Movie Streaming Online and Download

2) Demons were once good angels who fell during the fall of Satan (Jude 6).

3) Satan is the lead demon, called Lucifer (Isaiah 14, Matthew 4).

4) Satan originated sin, and has spent his existence tempting and leading humans from God (2 Corinthians 4:4)

5) Satan and demons are not as powerful as God, and are under the jurisdiction of God.

6) Demons are not the only cause of evil in the world, the world’s systems and the works of the flesh, are also responsible for evil.

7) Christian’s need not fear demons. (1 John 4:4)

8) At some point in the future, all demons will be cast into the eternal lake of fire, being separated from God for all eternity.

As you can read, the Bible is clear about the reality of supernatural beings called demons. But unlike the popular description of demons as pitched-forked, horned, red faced creatures – the biblical demons are evil, but still well beneath the control of our Lord. For even they tremble at His name (James 2:19).

Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, artist, minister, and family man. Follow Brian on Twitter @BnixNews.

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Experience ‘The Difference’ in Houston’s nightclub scene

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By Anita Jarrell-Robertson
Special to Inside The Pew

Recently, noted journalist Dan Derozier of Houstonia Magazine published a news story on Jerri P. Beasley’s “TheJerri P. Beasley Difference Venue,” a Christian nightclub located at 13334 Almeda Road in Houston, where “church folks get turnt up.” Derozier captured images of dancing, singing, rapping, poetry, praying, crying, kneeling, preaching, altar calls — people of various nationalities in a club? Together?

“The Difference” has also received national notoriety, as it was the $25,000 question on the May 11 episode of the popular, syndicated game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” (watch here)

What is the lure of this particular nightclub? “The Difference” is the buzz of Houston and has earned a reputation for being a place for true and lasting deliverance matched with nonjudgmental attitudes from pastors and other spiritual leaders who often wear their street clothes to blend in with club patrons and reduce the fear some people experience when they meet a pastor with formal attire.

On a typical club night, the facility where “The Difference” is held is owned and operated by Kevin Martin. Because his club, “The Manhattan” typically touts a crowd much different from “The Difference,” many of the patrons come on Friday or Sunday nights out of curiosity. Many stay because they end up finding something they need – something different. Different from church. Different from the club. The Difference. Beasley is proud to offer a place for good clean fun without profanity, drugs, and alcohol. Even kids are welcome.

Beasley said that it usually “takes about 10 minutes before ‘patrons’ realize they’re not going to hell” for being in the club. In an interview for Houstonia Magazine that recently aired on NewsFix TV, Beasley boldly testified that she began “The Difference” out of an overflow of gratitude for Jesus saving her soul and delivering her from a diagnosis of bipolar schizophrenia almost two decades ago. She now uses “The Difference” as well as her platform on KCOH 1230AM radio and TV programming in Houston to provide much-needed and open-handed exposure for Independent Gospel Artists from around the globe.

For instance, in honor of Mother’s Day 2015, Beasley hand selected an eclectic blend of Independent Gospel Artists/Performers including: Jacquie yForeman (Traditional), Shirley “Beloved Beloved” Hester (Liturgical Dancer), Cher2fication (Neo-Soul/R&B), Gloria Spruce (Contemporary), Pastor Anthony Rogers (Traditional/Contemporary), and yours truly, Anita Jarrell-Robertson (CCM/Contemporary/Latina). Several of the evening’s artists are starring in Beasley’s highly sought after Stage Play Revival, “Can U Pay The Price” on Aug. 8 at Greater Love Church, 4517 Laura Koppe Road in Houston. “The Manhattan” club owner, Martin has described his experience of getting goose bumps when the performers, who are typically filled with the Holy Spirit and prone to spark altar calls, share the Gospel on stage through the arts. Countless testimonies have poured in expressing new faith in Jesus Christ and/or renewed relationship with their Redeemer.

At the 2015 Mother’s Day Concert, Pastor Tabatha C. Whitten, the concert’s main speaker, pastor of Remnant Fellowship in Houston and host of the new hit TV show “Ignite,” shared with club patrons the importance of remembering the name God gave them. Pastor Whitten bounced all over the stage joyfully with fire, red hair; a blue, snazzy top; and hip-hugging blue jeans.

“I bless God for Pastor Tabatha Whitten’s relevant ministry. When you get bartenders to say Amen, God is speaking,” Beasley said.

Beasley believes the concept of “The Difference” will expand to other states in the future. Although many talented artists and pastors grace the stage on a regular basis, there is only one Headliner, Jesus Christ – without apology and with intentionality.

Faith-filled mothers everywhere have an answered prayer for Mother’s Day and every day in “The Difference,” a place where their children can truly come as they are and leave with THE DIFFERENCE. Beasley can be contacted via email at jpbeaspro@aol.com and via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jerri.p.beasley.

Anita Jarrell-Robertson is a CCM/Contemporary Gospel recording artist and freelance journalist. Email: anitaworships@gmail.com Connect via Twitter @anitaworships. WEB: www.anitaworships.com.

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Bradshaw: My ever-positive mother helped shape me

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By Sherry Bradshaw
Special to Inside The Pew

Our experiences shape us. NO doubt about it. I am convinced that one reason I have started most every day of my life with a positive outlook is because of theSherry Bradshaw, author of The Front Nine: Making Your Shots Count in Life experience my mother provided. I am not sure she even knew what the result would be when she was actually living it and leaving an everlasting imprint and impression.

It was the experience of the way I woke up most mornings in our home….to the song of…”This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it, whatever it brings there is a song you can sing…you may get tired but don’t fret! Nature is dawning a new day is yawning the sun will be coming up soon, if there is a mountain I will climb it or a valley I will walk through it to wish the top of the morning to you.” Yes, that is how I woke up every day. God used my mother and that defining moment to shape my outlook…daily and in all aspects of life. At 52, I marvel at how many times I wake up with that song in my mind and my heart. I am 52 and haven’t lived under her roof for the last 28 years.

Psychological research suggests that one’s self-concept is defined by a very small number of experiences. Ninety-nine percent of life’s experiences vanish like a vapor into the subconscious. Only 1 percent make it into our conscious memories and less than that, 1 percent of that 1 percent are not just memorable, but truly unforgettable. Those are the moments that they say define us. The positive or negative repetitive experiences can have a lasting impact, depending on how dramatic they are in our lives.

There is no doubt in my mind, now at 52, that my mother’s positive input had a profound effect on the way I have always viewed my day and, thus, my life. I believe God can use every past experience in preparation for our future opportunities. And one way God helps to redeem the past, especially if it is less than good, is by helping us see it through His eyes. His providence, His provision. In light of the enemy and the effects of sin on our lives, either our sin or that of others, HE is willing and more than capable of “using all things for His good, our good and His glory.”

“God causes all things to work for good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

I encourage you today to truly grasp that God is a God who makes things new. Lamentations 3:22-24, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’”

HE is the only one who can make us white as snow. His GRACE can takes us to new and exciting places….to soar…as eagles. Whether or not you were blessed, like my sister and I, with a positive ….mom…YOU can choose to be positive…to imprint the Good.

God can be the enabler to help you do this for yourself and others. He is all powerful and can reshape our thinking and our lives. Read the book of John and then the book of James. Jesus is still in the miracle business. He can take the negative in our lives and “flip flop” it into something incredible. It is called surrender!

Look to Jesus today…Surrender…to the ultimate positive…a life…that Jesus created to be significant…He will show you…He never disappoints.

Sherry Bradshaw is author of “The Front Nine: Making Your Shots Count in Life” and founder of Back 9 Ministries. Bradshaw, a native of Columbia, S.C., is a former first runner-up in the Miss America pageant. She speaks at corporate events, schools, churches, and community organization events.

Rossman: To the children’s literary world I go

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By David B. Rossman
Special to ASSIST News Service

Roy, WAI was born with cerebral palsy, and I often heard from the doctors that my legs would eventually give out on me so I should learn to use my mind. So, as aDavid Rossman child I took to writing poetry.

My motto became: “I have cerebral palsy, but it doesn’t have me, it just slows me down a bit.”

For years people told me that I would be good at writing books for kids. At first I didn’t believe them. I was into writing poetry and every time I thought of a storyline for any other type of writing, it would come out as poetry. So, I didn’t even try to write a kid’s book.

Then when my sons from my first marriage were born, life got in the way and I didn’t get to see them grow up. (That is another story.) Writing of any kind took a backseat for a bit.

When Anita, my daughter from my second marriage was born, my focus changed and I took notes on everything I could when it came to her. I did a rough draft called DADDY AND ME TIME. When my daughter and I went to the movies, rode in the car, tried to ride bikes, went for walks in the park, prayed…anything we did together became something to write about. (I really missed out on getting to do these things with my sons.)

Since I was born with cerebral palsy (which makes me walk like a penguin), in the draft of DADDY AND ME TIME, the characters are a daddy penguin and his little girl penguin. After a while, I was able to write with ease. The problem was getting someone to draw the illustrations for the book. I put the idea of publishing a children’s book back on the back burner. Though several friends kept reminding me that I should give it a shot.

Just before my daughter finished school and moved out, I started looking at the pets I live with. They were all adopted. First came Honey-Pup, a Cocker Spaniel; then came Blackie, a black cat and then Axel, the kitten, came to join our family. I began taking pictures of all three of my pets and the things they do.

I then began writing lines to go along with the pictures. I decided to make all the books interactive for the kids reading them. I left blank spaces in the sentences so the kids can fill in the blanks or as a question about the picture, like…can you find the ball for Honey-Pup?

I soon started looking into ways to self-publish and how to cut cost of overhead. I found www.lulu.com, a do-it-yourself website. Through this site I was able to print by order only. At first I thought the prices were a bit high, but when I thought about it and began to see what my work looked like when it was finished, I decided to give it a try.

So here are details of a few of them:

HI, MY NAME IS AXEL

In this book, I didn’t have a whole lot of pics to start with so I used free clip art along with the pictures of this 4-week-old kitten to tell her story.Axel  The Cat

HI, MY NAME IS HONEY-PUP

In this book, I focus on the Cocker Spaniel’s need to play ball all the time and the way she reacts to the two cats that live with her.

HI AGAIN, I’M AXEL AND THIS IS MEOW

Now as Axel the kitten has gotten older, her favorite playground (a fallen tree in the neighbor’s yard) has to be cut up so we can find Honey-Pup’s ball, which is lost in the neighbor’s yard.

HI, MY NAME IS BLACKIE

Blackie, though a lazy cat, deserved his own book so I took what pictures I could and used pictures that I took for the other books and put his book together.

THAT’S MY LIBRARY

In this book, which is a short book about the library I volunteer at, I took a chance on looking at the library through the eyes of a young patron as she visits theHoney Pup library with her mom twice a week. With the permission of her mom and herself, I wrote about the things she liked about the library and what keeps her and her family coming back to this small but mighty library in Roy, Washington.

For more information on David’s books, email him at davidbrian68@yahoo.com or write David B. Rossman, P.O. Box 401, Roy, WA 98580-0401.

 

 

 

Smith: Are our origins coincidental or intentional?

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By David R. Smith
Special to Inside The Pew

Ms. Eloise heard a knock at the door one afternoon, and shuffling her way over to it, opened it to find Kyle, a sweet-but-hyper little boy, standing on her porch

David R. Smith

clutching a baseball glove. The elderly woman, a grandma many times over in her own right, immediately noticed the sheepish look on the little boy’s face.

Kyle looked up at Ms. Eloise and politely said, “Umm…there’s something that belongs to me in your garage and I’d like it back.” Ms. Eloise walked him around to the garage door and as soon as she opened it, noticed two recent additions: a baseball lying in one corner…and a destroyed window with a baseball-size hole in it.

Ms. Eloise crossed her arms, looked down at Kyle, and asked, “How do you suppose that ball got in here?” Kyle looked at the ball, then the window, and then back at Ms. Eloise. Thinking quickly, he said, “Wow! I must have thrown it right through that hole!”

Kyle’s response required Ms. Eloise to believe an extremely coincidental explanation: that the baseball-size hole in her window and his missing baseball had nothing to do with one another. Yes, it was an explanation…but it probably wasn’t the best explanation. In fact, Kyle’s explanation sounded downright unlikely.

Interestingly, the scientific community is continually uncovering evidence that makes the current theory of our origins – known as the Big Bang theory – sound just as unlikely when it comes to the tedious task of explaining us. In layman’s terms, the Big Bang theory states that the Universe we now inhabit started as a very hot, dense nothingness that underwent radical expansion about 14 billion years ago forming planets, stars, and whole galaxies.

But this theory has intrinsic problems beginning with the observation that Epicurus made over 2,000 years ago: “Something never came from nothing.” And what are the chances that a completely random expansion – what is often called the “explosion” part of the Big Bang – could yield Earth…let alone this magnificent Universe? After all, when we analyze our celestial home, we all note the same realities about this shared rock:

  • It’s the only planet known to have water in liquid form.
  • Earth has a perfect balance of water and land.
  • We’re located in “the habitable zone,” the perfect distance between Earth and the sun ensuring our planet is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Earth has an atmosphere that shields its inhabitants from dangerous radiation and (most) of the debris flying through space.
  • We have a moon of perfect size and proximity to us that ensures life-giving tides to the creatures of the seas.

These are just a few of the requirements our planet must meet to shelter life. However, there are other necessary attributes for sustaining life – scores and scores of them, in fact – each one more awe-inspiring than the last. For example, we need a very precise balance between the four known forces of nature – strong nuclear, weak nuclear, gravity, and electromagnetism – and we have it! But for life to exist on our planet we also need a “sweeper planet” located nearby to clean comets and asteroids from our orbital pattern. Ours is known as Jupiter.

In light of these criteria, the Big Bang theory – the idea that these absolutely perfect conditions for life sprang from a completely random explosion of nothingness – is starting to sound as unlikely as Kyle’s explanation to Ms. Eloise. That little boy and proponents of the Big Bang theory have something in common: holes they can’t explain.

Consequently, a different theory for explaining us, known as the Fine-Tuned Universe, is gaining traction. This line of thinking states that the Universe didn’t come about by chance, or by necessity, but by intentional design. In short, the Fine-Tuned Universe theory rejects the notion that a world as calculated and precise as ours could be generated by accident.

But the modern world has a problem with this theory: a fine-tuned Universe requires a Tuner.

In the opening chapter of my latest book Christianity…It’s Like This, I make the simple case that all of us acknowledge that a spectacular building requires a builder and a beautiful design requires a designer. So why wouldn’t a brilliant creation require a Creator?

In reality, this is hardly groundbreaking. Three thousand years ago, the king of a relatively small nation said, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2) King David knew how to explain us: God created us.

In the end, there will always be those who want to dismiss a Creator in spite of such a marvelous creation. They’d have us believe that our world is the way it is because of a series of completely random events that have never been repeated, not even once, even though there are billions and billions of other planets.

When it comes to explaining us, the biblical explanation isn’t the only explanation…but it’s certainly the best explanation.

Though he’s earned two undergraduate degrees and one advanced degree, David R Smith prefers to have simple conversations about faith and life. He pastors First Baptist Church in Linden, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Jenn, and their son, Josiah. When he’s not preaching, he’s usually looking for great BBQ joints or his errant golf shots. David was recently named as one of Vyrso’s top authors to watch in 2015. Smith’s latest title Christianity…It’s Like This is available now!

Muse: ‘Behold I stand at the door …’

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Editor’s note: This is a reprint of a column run March 30, 2013.

By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – Easter is one of the most sacred holidays to Christians.

On Sunday, take a moment and remember the reason we celebrate it. I remember Easter Sundays vividly growing up. It wasn’t the Easter

Grelan Muse Sr.

Grelan Muse Sr.

egg hunt after service, but the message of His death, burial, and resurrection.

With a change in priorities by many people, it is important to continue to tell the story of Jesus beyond Easter. As believers, we must be consistent and resonate that message because it is His death that we are saved.

According to Revelation 3:20, the author said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me” (ESV).

No matter how we live our lives, Jesus is the door. To make any strides to get to heaven, it goes through Him. Therefore, we have to learn all we need to know about Him and teach His words to the next generation. If Easter means dressing up to the 9s and Easter baskets, we are doing the Lord and our children a great disservice. Be accurate and tell the truth. The secular world has tried its hardest to take Him out of the holiday (Christmas too); believers won’t deny Him.

If you take a look at the sacrifice He made for us, we don’t need flashlight Christians. These are the people who cut His word on when they want to cut it on. Instead of flicking His word on and off, become a spotlight for God. My favorite scripture on this is 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

He didn’t die for Himself. He died for all mankind.

Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Inside The Pew and Pew Talk Radio. Email him at pewnews@aol.com.

 

Round: Why did He remain silent?

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Jesus before Pilate

By Carol Round
Special to Inside The Pew

“As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate” (Mark 15:1 NRSV).

What if you knew tomorrow would be your final day on earth? How would you prepare? Would you spend time eating a meal—or maybeCarol Round two—with those you love? Would you prepare them for your death? What would you say?

During Jesus’ final day on earth, beginning with the last meal He ate with His disciples and ending with His death and burial, those 24 hours changed our world.

Jesus had been betrayed by Judas, deserted by the rest of His disciples, denied by Peter—not once, but three times—and put on trial by the Sanhedrin. Jesus knew what was ahead. But did that make it any easier?

When the chief priests handed Jesus over to Pontius Pilate, he asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” How did Jesus answer? “You say so.”

And when those chief priests continued to accuse Jesus of many things, Pilate asked Him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.”

Mark tells us in his gospel that “Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed (15:5).

In Adam Hamilton’s book, “24 Hours That Changed the World: 40 Days of Reflection,” he tells us more about Pilate. “Philo of Alexandria described Pilate as cruel, corrupt and violent.”

Yet, Pilate saw through the Jewish ruling council’s apparent interest in attempting to uphold Rome’s authority. Hamilton says, “There they presented Him to the governor, charging Him with the capital offense of claiming to be a king—a crime tantamount to treason and insurrection.”live streaming film Life 2017

Hamilton adds, “He knew they tolerated Rome’s authority and accommodated to it, but their presentation of Jesus to him was not out of a concern for Rome. Pilate knew they were jealous of this man who had challenged not Rome’s authority, but their own.”

Why did Jesus remain silent when questioned by Pilate? Why didn’t He defend Himself against the accusations? Hamilton says, “Some see His silence as another occasion when Jesus was intentionally fulfilling the words of the prophets, in this case Isaiah 53:7:

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

Hamilton asks his readers to picture the expressions that might have crossed Jesus’ face as He listened to the charges against Him?

Hamilton says, “I picture dignity; resolve; a certain righteous disdain for the high priest; and an awareness that the trial will end in His own death, regardless of what He says, and that God will use His death to change the world forever.”

Born in a stable, sought out by shepherds from the fields and wise men from the east, Jesus was born for just this moment. That’s why He remained silent.

Email carolaround@yahoo.com for information about speaking at your next event.

 

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