Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christian Faith Is Vital To The Future Of The World

In 2005 a book by American sociologist, Rodney Stark was published, called The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. The ‘modern world,’ he argues ‘arose only in Christian societies’ thanks to Christianity’s commitment to ‘reason, progress, and moral equality’

The capacity which Christianity has to contribute to social, cultural and economic progress has been long observed.

In his book Jesus in Beijing, the journalist David Aikman tells of a lecture he attended in China in 2002. A professor from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences had this to say to a group of American visitors about his years of study in the West:
'One of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West over all the world. We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. The moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don't have any doubt about this.'

From a Talk by Professor Stuart Piggin of Macquarrie University
At the Kingston Mayoral Prayer Breakfast
National Day of Thanksgiving, May 2008

Follow this link to see the full paper

Many have sadly come to believe the lies of the secularists that the Christian faith does not have a place in modern society. Stuart Piggin and others reveal the opposite: Modern society exists only because of Christian Faith and will collapse without it.

Stuart says it is way past time for the Church to know and boldly take up its crucial role.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is Jesus Like Joe?

Joe was a drunk, miraculously converted in a street outreach mission. Before his conversion he'd gained a reputation as a derelict and dirty wino for whom there was no hope. But following his conversion to Christ, everything changed. Joe became the most caring person at the mission. He spent his days there, doing whatever needed to be done. There was never anything he was asked to do that he considered beneath him. Whether it was cleaning up vomit left by some sick alcoholic, or scrubbing toilets after men had left them filthy, Joe did it all with a heart of gratitude. He could be counted on to feed any man who wandered in off the streets, undress and tuck him into bed, when he was too out-of-it to take care of himself.

One evening, after the mission director delivered his evangelistic message to the usual crowd of sullen men with drooped heads, one of them looked up, came down to the altar and kneeled to pray, crying out for God to help him change. The repentant drunk kept shouting, "Oh God, make me like Joe! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe!"

The director leaned over and said, "Son, wouldn't it be better if you prayed 'make me like Jesus?'"

After thinking about it for a few moments, the man looked up with an inquisitive expression and asked, "Is He like Joe?"'

Do others see Jesus in you?

By Tony Campolo,

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Have you ever had to grieve? I was reading an article today, and found the following 5 pre-requisites for healthy mourning for loss.

(1) Commitment to grieving as a healthy personal priority, without excessive guilt, ambivalence, or anxiety.

(2) Consistent inner and outer permissions to (a) feel and (b) express our natural shock, disbelief, rage, and despair - over and over; and to (c) turn our mental confusion into clarity and order, over time, by asking questions, and repeated venting, discussion, and meditating.

(3) Restated - grievers need a stable, pro-grief (high-nurturance) environment to move steadily through the phases toward loss-acceptance.

(4) Motivation and opportunities to reflect, sort, feel, and process.

(5) All the time we need, and patience as we mourn a day at a time.

Work through the denial that hides the anger; ...

Work through the anger that hides the hurt; ...

Work through the hurt that hides the loss and loneliness; ...

Work through the loss and loneliness that hides the lack of self-worth; ...

Work through the lack of self worth that hides the total confusion; ...

Work through the total confusion that hides our unwillingness ...

to give up our own control and to surrender our lives to the Creator.

- Anonymous -

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Positive Interventions

Today I was told of a concept called "positive interventions", which basically encourages us to to look for the positive in any situation. I find it interesting!

One exercise for an application of this concept is called "Daily Three Blessings". At the conclusion of each day identify three things that went well and why. Do that regularly. Statistics show that people who have the attitude of gratitude are happier and less depressed.

Another application of this concept is to take the initiative to support other people to validate each other in a way that makes them happier and feel better.

In addition, we should say yes to positive emotions, engaging to others, noble purpose, building positive relationships, enabling good conditions of life, and contributing to the society.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Post-Olympics & Paralympics

Now that the Olympics and Paralympics are over, Beijing can get back to its old ways, right?

According to the Wall Street Journal, while the Olympic guests from all over the world may be gone and construction work in Beijing started up again, other measures are extending the Olympic spirit a bit further into the daily lives of people in the capital of China.

Some of the Olympics security measures are also staying put. Authorities decided that bag screening on the subway system will be retained permanently. A municipal public security official said that over 18,000 contraband items were found in the 72 million bag searches conducted during the Olympics period, and 32 people detained.

And for the National Day holiday (1 st October), some security measures in Beijing are even exceeding the Olympic efforts. Beijing media reports that subway stations near Tiananmen Square are closed from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 and trains will skip those stops during this period. Olympic-style security checks at parks and tourist sites will be retained during this period, and additional crowd control measures will be put in place at a popular pedestrian shopping street.

Some Facts About The Two-Third World

They say when speaking or writing if you want to grab people’s attention, grab it early, grab it impactfully, and grab it precisely. They don’t say the grabbing has to be positive or soothing so let me be precise, if unsettling. Let me paint a not too positive picture about current world situations:

About 5 million children per year die per year from diarrhoea and related conditions in developing countries. This is the largest single cause of death of young children.

About 16 million cases of malaria are reported annually.

About 3 million children under five die annually from malaria.

About 3.5 million children under five in developing countries die each year from one of the six following diseases which can be largely prevented by immunization:
- diphtheria;
- whooping cough;
- tetanus;
- measles;
- polio;
- tuberculosis.

Probably as many become disabled from through these largely preventable diseases.

- About 0.5 million children each year become blind from vitamin A deficiency. Two-thirds of these children die.

- About 6.7 million children show signs of moderate vitamin A deficiency making them more vulnerable to infections and other diseases.

- There is 10% more food in the world than would be needed to feed every person on earth, but 730 million people are too weak from hunger to work.

- Chronic malnutrition kills 50 million people a year and affects one-quarter of humanity. (50 million a year = nearly 100 a minute).

- The world spends enough ($17,000 million) on weapons every two weeks to provide food, health care, water and education for everybody on earth!

- Over 0.5 million women in developing countries die each year from pregnancy-related causes, leaving at least one million infants without mothers.

- Only a little over 1/3 of children under five living in developing countries have access to clean water.

Is there anything you can do about these?