We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Escape Artist

She’s trying to escape before I snap the picture! Why? She doesn’t want anyone to think she had anything to do with the body and arms – I did those parts! Deb did the head, face, and hat. What a team! If she finds out I’ve posted this, she’ll have a fit! Please don’t tell!

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Choosing to Believe

We do not choose to believe or not. Our beliefs and feelings cannot be changed by choice. We cannot just choose to have different beliefs and feelings. But we do have some liberty to take in different ideas and information and to think about things in different ways. We can choose to take in the Word of God, and when we do that, beliefs and feelings will be steadily pulled in a godly direction.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chrysostom on Children – 347-407 AD

If a child learns a trade, or his highly educated for a lucrative profession, all is nothing compared to the art of detachment from riches; if you want to make your child rich, teach him this. He is truly rich who does not desire great possessions, or surrounds himself with wealth, but who requires nothing. Don’t worry about giving him an influential reputation, for worldly wisdom, but ponder deeply how you can teach him to think lightly of this life’s passing glories, thus he will become truly renowned and glorious. Don’t strive to make him a clever orator, but teach him to love true wisdom. He will suffer if he lacks clever words, but if he lacks wisdom; all the rhetoric in the world can’t help him. A pattern of life is what is needed, not empty speeches; character, not cleverness; deeds, not words. These things will secure the kingdom of God and bestow God’s blessings

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blessed are those who Read

Three of the top students in each of our fifty states were chosen to stand before a committee to determine which ten would receive a full college scholarship, One of the scholarship committee asked if any of the candidates had read any books in the last year outside of required reading, and if so to give the title of the books they had read. According to the Commentary in Education Week, March 27, 1991, only one student out of the 150 raised their hand and had read one book. Gene Veith said in his book “Reading Between the Lines,” that the problem in the west is not illiteracy but aliteracy—we can read, but don’t. So what will cultivate this love and passion for reading again? How can we light a fire for reading in our youth—and in ourselves? It is so true that we will be the same five years from now as we are today, except for the people we meet, and the books we read. Just this morning I was reading in the book of Revelation and noticed that John starts by saying these words: “Blessed are those who read; blessed are those who hear; and blessed are those who do…” Ponder this tri-fold blessing for a moment. Blessed are those who read, hear, and do. The context in Revelation 1 is about reading, hearing, and doing what is commanded in the book of Revelation. However, this threefold blessing can also be applied when one reads any of the Scriptures, as Jesus testifies in Luke 11:28: “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it. This emphasis on reading doesn’t end in Revelation one. In fact, in the last chapter of the book of Revelation John frames this emphasis upon reading the Word with a sevenfold repetition of the word BOOK. What beauty! What craftsmanship! Not only do the first and last chapters of the book of Revelation form the grand finale of revealing who Jesus really is—the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last—the God Almighty (see Rev 1:8, 21:1-8, and 22:12ff), but seven times the word BOOK is written in this last chapter of the Bible. Now why would the writer use the word BOOK seven times as the conclusion for all of the Scripture? I am not sure exactly, but I think it is appropriate to at least suggest that we need to be people who read this book, hear this book, and do what is written in it. For man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. There is a blessing attached to the reading, hearing, and doing what we find written in the Word God—it’s time to reclaim that blessing!

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 5:03 pm  Comments (7)  

Urinal ArtUrinal Art

“http://www.lamplighterpublishing.com/blog/uploaded_images/Urinal-Duchamp” If you can’t see the picture, you can see it on line, or I would suggest just picture in your mind a common every day urinal, upside down. It was first exhibited behind a curtain in 1917 at the Society of Independent Artists in New York but rejected as serious art. Although at first thought of as a practical joke, Marcel Duchamp’s a signed urinal, is now worth $3.4 million dollars! Yes you have read correctly! And this is not even the original but one of 8 replicas signed by Duchamp in 1964. This is beyond absurd but it truly demonstrates the depravity of man. Artwork such as this urinal is a part of what is called Scatological art. It is part of a growing movement that uses grotesque art, if it can be called art, intended to shock the public, in order to make a statement. The statement for scatological art is clear. What is being taught is that there are no absolutes and everyone man can do that which is right in his own eyes. Unrestrained morality in a culture evidences itself in its art, as also seen in the art of film and literature. Duchamp’s has even inspired artists to think of urine and feces no longer as subject matter, but as readymade art forms. Why am I bringing this to you attention? We need to teach our children how to discern in the art, film and literary world, what violates absolute standards and aesthetic values. The ancient Greeks, though godless, held to a conviction that obscenity was not to be tolerated in public view. Sex was actually considered sacred and not allowed on the stage. Profanity also was considered outside the boundaries of decency. Shakespeare for example did not even use the word for God in his plays for fear that it would be used in vain. Today, our children are being exposed to realms of evil and scatological themes of grotesqueness that ought to be forbidden. What has happened to an adult’s ability to discern? Just the other day a Christian school teacher shared with me how her daughter just loves the teen vampire and werewolf books. I really didn’t know what to say…how could she not know how harmful this literature is to her child? We need to wake up before it is too late. May I suggest giving your teen the book which quickly sold over 2 ½ million copies after it was published in 1878 or the story of a young man who changes the course of American history for woman in 1830…Personally, I have not read a book more inspiring and life changing than Ishmael!

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Schools: Battleground for Freedom

We were blessed this past week as we attended the Constitutional Coalition Educational Policy conference in St. Louis, where I was privileged to speak. Inspiring lecturers, including Glenn Beck, Senator Michelle Bachman, author David Horowitz, and many of today’s most brilliant philosophers, scientists, educators, and researchers, brought to light important issues about which every believer and American citizen should know. My purpose in writing is to share with you concerns that I’m certain will be relevant to your life. One of the recurring themes of the conference was the level of indoctrination that is permeating our public school system. An underlying agenda exists within the educational system that is neither neutral nor is it concerned with the education of our children. The plan for executing this very left-winged agenda begins in the department of college campuses, where future teachers are primed and molded. We learned how the new integrated math is really a tool to dumb down mathematics so that children in single-parent homes and same-sex homes will perform as well on tests as children who come from a traditional family. Of course, the underlying agenda is an attack on the traditional family-to prove that the stability of a traditional family has no bearing on a child’s ability to succeed in school. Billions of dollars are being poured into America’s schools not only to expose but to our children in such topics as alternative lifestyles, global warming, and Islamic studies. These studies are being integrated within and throughout the public school curriculum including math class. Another topic that I believe is worth sharing is the development of the Progressive movement, which started in the 1800s. More recently, it has resurfaced as the Progressive agenda. This movement aims to change our judicial system and government in its interpretation and application of the Constitution, making it a living document that changes with the times. The underlying belief is that there are no absolutes, for truth changes with progress. This dogma is having far-reaching effects on our culture. There is much reason for concern in our nation today. But there is more reason for hope, for we serve a God with whom nothing is impossible! In this world we shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; He has overcome the world! Jesus is our only hope for the future, and it is our responsibility-indeed, our to present that attractive difference that will cause others to ask what is the reason for the hope that is within us. As I shared these truths with this group of brilliant but heavy-hearted conservatives, I sensed a new resolve and a renewed sense of hope embraced. It is not our educational policies, it is not our government, it is not even our Constitution that can help us out of this political and social turmoil-it is the turning the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. We need to turn to God, who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever! We need to be about the business of inspiring Christ-like character in the lives of children and adults throughout our land and around the world. On an economic scale, restoring and strengthening the family unit could have a $31 billion dollar positive impact upon our economy! This figure reflects the annual cost of divorce in our country. Turning hearts back to God, building character, and restoring traditional family values are the keys to rebuilding our nation. As Solomon taught, it is righteousness that exalts a nation. Lamplighter is dedicated to this great cause. We are committed to producing redemptive stories that will help build character and restore families, the core of our nation’s future. This we do through inspiring literature, edifying audio dramas, and life-transforming seminars. To partner with us in this great redemptive endeavor, please tell others about Lamplighter’s life-changing stories. By sending a dramatic audio or book to a family in need, a grandparent, a retirement home, a hospital, school, or local library, you could make an eternal difference and have a positive impact on generations to come. Your investment and partnership in this ministry will infuse us with the support and encouragement we need to move forward. I hope that you have benefited from what I have learned this past week. Please keep us in prayer. We are at the end of our barrel of oil and will need to make some difficult decisions in the next two weeks. I know God is in control, and I yield all of my desires to Him.

Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Peep Behind the Scenes drama–for Free!

Just a few minutes ago I finished a live radio broadcast on Prime Time America announcing to the world about our latest Lamplighter Theatre Audio Drama “A Peep behind the Scenes.” This drama has such a powerful redemptive message that I decided to offer this six episode drama for FREE! I am hoping that pastors and those who are compelled to fulfill the Great Commission will take this drama to their churches, small groups, friends, family, neighbors, community, nursing homes, public and private schools, hospitals etc! I just returned from London producing this drama with some of the greatest actors around the world. I was so moved in the studio that I knew that this drama had to be available for everyone to reach others for Christ.

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Vidiots and Virtue

A survey of 140 randomly selected leaders in the television industry revealed that, while 93% had a religious upbringing, the same percentage seldom or never attended a religious service. Ironically, even though many successful directors and actors of Hollywood don’t allow their own children to watch their own movies, (some even restricting TV altogether), our society continues to allow the media to be the dominant family influencer of values. In a world of sensate images, pulsating sounds, violent scenes, sexual perversion, and television-induced short attention spans, a new species has evolved—scientifically labeled as “vidiots.” According to the book, Virtue—Public and Private, “Television has unquestionably become the value shaper, and the most ubiquitous teacher that any civilization has ever had—running for an average of 7 ½ hours a day in 98% of American homes.” And this statistic was researched thirty years ago! Today, with the current rate at which we watch TV, a person with an average lifespan will have spent 9 years of his life in front of the TV. By the time he is 17, he could view up to 1.5 million acts of violence and witness 360,000 murders. In 1878 there was a similar moral decline, but the author Mrs. O.F. Walton wrote a book, that would change the moral climate almost overnight. Selling over 2 ½ million copies, her book, A Peep Behind the Scenes, helped to restore marriages, brought redemption to families, abused children found hope, and many with addictive behaviors were set free. A Peep Behind the Scenes—a story that changed lives then, can change lives today. If you can’t find it in your library, you will find it at Lamplighter.net

Published in: on February 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Facebook

There was a feature article on the front page of yesterday’s newspaper which talked about how Facebook and other social networks are robbing people of productivity and peace. People have become so intertwined with other people’s lives that it has become unhealthy. People need space and boundaries. When one’s life becomes too involved or too attached without real present physical contact (face to face) one’s reality becomes virtual as it robs a person of authentic relationships, holding them in a virtual vortex. There was a day when someone received a letter and you couldn’t wait to read it. Letters were at one time personal; and letters were sent because the other person meant something to them. I see two dangers: The first is that this daily exercise of “letter writing” is creating shallow relationships. The second that it is stirring up potentially dangerous emotions, I realize that most who read this won’t agree, but it may be worth discussing. And yes, I do realize that many use these virtual networks for good; for prayer, to stay in contact with family etc. But is it possible that our time spent in our virtual realities is robbing us of time spent face to face with the people we come in contact with daily, or should come in contact with? Maybe visiting a neighbor or a widow down the street might be something to consider.

Published in: on February 13, 2010 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment