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Posted 5/20/13 at 3:04 PM | Barry Bowen
As a teenager I was a puppeteer at my church. One year we performed a musical about Jonah and the big fish. The big fish was made from very thin green cellophane. The audience roared with laughter when they saw the Jonah puppet inside the belly of the fish.
Ever since performing that musical, the Jonah story has been one of my favorite Bible stories. Today blogger Tim Challies wrote an article about how the fish story points to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the hero.
Out of curiosity I started looking for "Jonah and the fish" pictures on the Internet and noticed that this Bible story is truly part of our culture even though many people are not aware of the spiritual significance of how Jonah's trip inside a fish relates to Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.
Posted 5/17/13 at 3:47 PM | Barry Bowen
One of the battleground areas of the evolution-intelligent design debate involves how consciousness arose in various life forms.
Many animals have limited awareness of physical pain. I would like to suggest that motherly instincts and the displays of affection found in various animal life could be considered objects of study for scientists interested in intelligent design.
Besides scientists, philosophers and theologians have also contemplated the reasons for why life exists. One popular viewpoint is that God made us because "God is love."
According to Joel J. Miller, "Why did God make us? When you look how the ancient writers of the Church thought about that question the answer might surprise. It’s the same reason he saved us: love. God made us to love us."
The Augustine Club at Columbia University suggests, "God is such a superabundance of love that he wanted to share his love with others, so he chose to create the visible world. All of creation reflects imperfectly the infinite perfections of God."
When we see animals displaying affection, are we seeing the love of God in his Creation? I think so. Enjoy these photos from Flickr of animals kissing. FULL POST
Posted 5/16/13 at 10:59 PM | Barry Bowen
According to the London Telegraph newspaper,
Pope Francis has attacked the “dictatorship” of the global financial system and warned that the “cult of money” was making life a misery for millions.
He said free-market capitalism had created a “tyranny” and that human beings were being judged purely by their ability to consume goods.
I disagree with the pope and would like to explain why but first I want to explain what the words "free market" mean because the pope criticized "free market capitalism."
Investopedia provides 3 definitions for free market:
A market economy based on supply and demand with little or no government control. A completely free market is an idealized form of a market economy where buyers and sellers are allowed to transact freely (i.e. buy/sell/trade) based on a mutual agreement on price without state intervention in the form of taxes, subsidies or regulation.
In financial markets, free market stocks are securities that are widely traded and whose prices are not affected by availability. FULL POST
Posted 5/15/13 at 11:24 PM | Barry Bowen |
A few minutes ago the tornado sirens ended. I never realized until tonight how stressful it can be listening to a tornado siren. As I type this a thunderstorm warning remains in effect where I live. A soft rain is falling outside.
What if there were sirens for sin? What if whenever we were about to do something self-destructive, we would receive a warning?
Something like that exists: the conscience.
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.- Romans 2:14-16 ESV
There have been times I didn't listen to my conscience and deliberately sinned. I noticed that the more I sinned, the less guilty I felt. It was clearly time to repent. FULL POST
Posted 5/9/13 at 6:28 PM | Barry Bowen |
Are Christians trivializing the biblical teaching that God will punish sin in hell? That is the question that came to mind after seeing these two photos.
If you are not familiar with what the Bible teaches about hell, the Open Bible website has compiled a list of Bible verses on this topic.
Here is one of the Bible references about hell:
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. - Matthew 25:40-41 FULL POST
Posted 5/8/13 at 9:20 PM | Barry Bowen |
Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Denzel Washington are the three most trusted Americans, according to a Reader's Digest survey.
Seven of the top 10 individuals are Hollywood personalities. Six of them are actors and one is a movie director.
The Christian Post reported, "Despite the television and movie personalities that dominate the list, the survey found that Americans tend to trust more than anyone else their doctors (77 percent), spiritual advisers (71 percent) and their children's teacher (66 percent)."
Why do so many Americans trust Hollywood celebrities? I used to think that political endorsements by celebrities was crazy but now I'm starting to realize just how badly Americans have turned celebrities into modern "gods" of the entertainment age.
Adam Sandler is 64th on the Reader's Digest list of most trusted Americans. Is this based on the movies he has made? Sandler's films often feature juvenile humour.
Sandler does have some admirable qualities: He contributes to charity and has been married to his wife for almost ten years. But still the question remains: What has Sandler done to build such trust? FULL POST
Posted 5/8/13 at 7:10 PM | Barry Bowen
Senator John McCain is considering new legislation that would give American consumers the ability to pick and choose individual TV channels rather than programming bundles.
Broadcasting & Cable reports, "The bill would give cable and satellite operators the option of offering a la carte service or losing the the blanket license that allows them to carry broadcast programming without having to negotiate individually for rights to carry the programming."
As multiple media outlets have reported cable television bundles generally include the expensive ESPN sports channels. With a la carte, a consumer not interested in sports, could potentially save a lot of money on their monthly TV bill. Christians could also refuse channels such Logo, the gay-programming oriented channel, and MTV. FULL POST
Posted 5/2/13 at 11:59 PM | Barry Bowen |
While looking at a list of famous people with birthdays on May 2nd, I noticed the name Elias Boudinot, the founder of the American Bible Society, a member of the Continental Congress and director of the United States Mint.
When Thomas Paine wrote the book Age of Reason to advance the cause of atheism, Boudinot responded with the book The Age of Revelation - published in 1801. Paine rejected the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and the Trinity. Boudinot defended belief in both.
In his book Boudinot wrote, "These opposers of the Christian church, had the most urgent reasons for using every means in their power, to expose the falsehood or forgery of the apostles, if such had been the case."
Being a well-read Bible scholar, Boudinot also quoted other Christian writers that have since mostly been forgotten such as a Mr. Priestly in this book excerpt.
"We believe the facts recorded in the New-Testament, not on the evidence of four persons, but on that of thousands, who were well acquainted with the facts, and by whom it cannot be denied, the contents of these books were credited. The books called the Gospels, were not the cause, but the effects of the belief of Christianity in the first ages: and these were received by the primitive Christians, because they knew beforehand, that the contents of them were true; consequently the leading facts of Christianity will always remain deserving credit, whatever may be found to be the truth concerning the authenticity of particular books. The circumstances of the Christian church, which received these books and transmitted them to us, were such, as there cannot be a doubt with respect to the competency of their evidence; because they were published in the life time of thousands and myriads, who were as competent witnesses of the facts, as the writers themselves; and there cannot be any question of their veracity, unless we suppose they all combined to tell and to propagate a falsehood, to their own prejudice, and merely to impose on all posterity -- which would be a greater miracle, as being more contrary to what we know of human nature, than any thing recorded in these books." FULL POST
Posted 4/30/13 at 1:39 PM | Barry Bowen |
Here is something you may not know. Facebook keeps a record of all your searches. If you are concerned about your privacy, you can follow these simple 5 steps to delete your search history.
These steps work on a desktop or notebook computer. I haven't tried on a cell phone or with a FB app:
Step 1. After you are logged into Facebook, go to your profile page by selecting (click) the link that shows the name of your account.
Step 2. Click the Activity Log button.
Step 3. On left side of page is a list of links. One of the links is labeled "More" - click on it and an expanded list of links will appear. Select the link that says "Search."
(4) At the top of page will appear a link for clearing all searches or you may delete individual searches by clicking on the symbol of a circle with a slash through it. This symbol appears next to a lock symbol.
Posted 4/25/13 at 9:30 PM | Barry Bowen
While looking for news photos of the recent Bangladesh building collapse that killed more than 250 people, I came across this photo of a child living on the streets taken on the Bangladesh New Year.
According to Flickr, "Most of people wear new dresses in this day. But this street child has nothing to wear. No house to sleep. Very little or nothing to eat. Still a happy sleep at the side of a walking way." (Includes spelling corrections.)
For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. - Matthew 25:35 NLT