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Posted 5/23/13 at 5:11 PM | Barry Bowen |
When the tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, I quickly called my sister and received no response. I knew she was probably in a shelter riding out the storm. After the tornado dissipated, I reached my sister by phone and learned the tornado passed two miles from where she lives.
Some of the churches close to the disaster are sharing information on Facebook about disaster relief efforts that they are coordinating. During challenging times like this, people work together and God has a way of turning darkness into light.
Here are some pictures of the relief efforts and quotes from churches helping their neighbors.
Jesus: "And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” - Matthew 10:42 ESV FULL POST
Posted 5/22/13 at 11:36 PM | Barry Bowen
For me the Hubble Space Telescope photos are absolutely fascinating. I have posted on this topic previously so you can see even more space photos at my article Photo Gallery: Look at the Heavens.
In Psalm 19 David composed the lyrics to a song. He expresses his amazement of outer space.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. 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. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. - Psalm 19:1-3 ESV
I can only imagine the wonder that David would have expressed if he were able to use today's technology to see the stars.
This photo was released last year to celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope's 22nd year of operation. According to NASA, this photo shows part of the Tarantula nebula. Wikipedia reports that this star-making region is located almost 160,000 light years away.
Posted 5/21/13 at 7:20 PM | Barry Bowen
Today I noticed a two articles promoted online with deceptive words.
An 18-year-old female student was arrested in Florida for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female student.
The Miami Herald's headline showed no bias:
Yahoo featured an article about this story from Babble.com. The Headline read:
The court will not decide if homosexuality should be illegal. Instead the real issue involves an adult having sex with a minor.
The second news article I want to bring to your attention is about Westboro Baptist Church which is famous for protesting at funerals and holding signs claiming that God hates homosexuals.
Posted 5/21/13 at 12:02 PM | Barry Bowen
When Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, I was an American Red Cross volunteer at Honduras Elementary School in Houma, Louisiana. We turned the school into a hurricane shelter for more than 100 people.
A girl arrived at the shelter crying because she had to leave pets at her home and didn't know if the pets would still be alive after the storm. Watching the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado news reminded me of this incident.
If there is a natural disaster where you live, do you have a plan for what to do with your pets?
Government and animal advocacy group websites provide advice for taking care of pets when natural disasters strike.
Ready.gov recommends that you take your animals with you if you evacuate:
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency. FULL POST
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