Friday, November 27, 2009

Does Snopes know all? is this generation’s way to determine truth. Internet users rely on the website because so many misleading and untrue e-mails circulate in cyberspace.
According to Wikipedia, David Mikkelson and Barbara Hamel created the myth-busters website in 1995 to reveal e-mail hoaxes and confirm or debunk widely spread urban legends. The site has more than six million visitors a month
The Mikkelsons say their intention is not merely to dismiss or confirm misconceptions and rumors, but to provide evidence for such debunkings and confirmations as well. Although they claim to research their topics heavily and provide references when possible, not all of their sources are fully verifiable, says Wikipedia. Where appropriate, pages are generally marked "undetermined" or "unverifiable" if the Mikkelsons feel there is not enough evidence to either support or disprove a given claim.
They have learned, as have seekers throughout the ages,that truth often is difficult to
come by.
Societies historically tried many methods to determine when a person was lying. The Chinese sometimes filled a suspect’s mouth with uncooked rice and the person would be judged guilty if the rice could not be spit out quickly and easily. The test was based on the idea that people who lie don’t create saliva.
Some ancient civilizations required a suspect to grab a white-hot metal rod and carry it to a marked destination. If the burns on the person’s hands did not heal by a certain date, the person was ruled guilty and punished.
More humane was a serum introduced in the 1920s by a Texas obstetrician, Dr. Robert House. He believed a person under the influence of the drug scopolamine was unable to tell a lie. In an era of corruption and crime, it was hoped the drug could turn people to honesty, but it’s use as a lie detector was not widely accepted..
“Truth Serum,” an anesthetic or hypnotic such as thiopental sodium or sodium pentathal, later was believed to cause a person to speak only the truth, but these drugs weren’t totally reliable, either.
Today we have the polygraph, which supporters say is 90 percent accurate, yet in many court rooms the results can’t be entered as evidence.
The best court cases depend on physical evidence and eyewitnesses’ testimony, but sometimes truth is still elusive.
In the days Jesus walked the earth, some people questioned whether He was truthful, despite His miracles, compassion, and claim to be God. “I tell you the truth,” might be the phrase most often spoken by Jesus. The four Gospels record Jesus saying those words at least 80 times.
But Jesus not only assured people He told the truth, He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He assured them that when He went away, He would sent the Holy Spirit, which would lead them into all truth (John 16:13).
How do we know what to believe? Truth is difficult to prove. The folks at have been accused of allowing political beliefs to influence their conclusions. Whether that is true, we know faith becomes involved what we decide is true, even in secular situations. We need faith in the carrier of information. We need faith in witnesses to believe what they say. We need faith the evidence actually shows what the experts say it does, and put trust in the way in which evidence is gathered.
I’ve known superstitious people who firmly believe things I consider absurd. People believe in the horoscope and fortune tellers. A large number of folks believe we appeared on this earth with seeing eyes and hearing ears without a creator.
God equipped each of us with a free will so we could decide what we believe. The scripture states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Salvation is based on belief. That’s why you can’t prove God exists! Faith is the requirement for Salvation.
Yet, our loving Heavenly Father didn’t leave us without solid reasons for faith. He provided witnesses, testimony and evidence everywhere about who He is.
Whether we believe it is up to us.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Who is Jesus?

Jesus came to earth to demonstrate who He is.

Eleven people closest to Him wrote about Who Jesus Christ is. We can read their testimonies in the New Testament. According to tradition, all gave their lives because of their faith in Him, with the exception of John, who died in exile on Patmos Island.

In his book, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," Josh McDowell wrote that no one would give his life for something he knew was a lie.

The disciples were there when Jesus walked on water, calmed the storms, fed thousands on a bit of fish and bread, healed the sick, raised the dead, died on a bloody cross in agony for our sins, and rose from the dead three days later.

These men knew Jesus. But we also may know him.

By becoming one of us Jesus:
1. Demonstrated concern about our eternal destiny. "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you ... that where I am you will be also." (John 14)
2. Demonstrated he cares about our lives. "The thief (Satan) comes to steal and destroy but I come that you might have life to the full." (John 10:10)
3. Demonstrated concern for our physical needs. He healed the sick and fed His followers.
4.Demonstrated power over our emotional needs by healing the brokenhearted and comforting those who mourn.
5. Demonstrated the need to resist Satan by sending the tempter fleeing when the devil came to Him (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan wanted Jesus to start a "reality show" by turning stones into bread, jumping off the pinnacle of the temple without a parachute. Then He offered Jesus rulership of the world, which is laughable since Jesus was there at creation. Hebrews 4:15 says, "This HIgh Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin."
6. Demonstrated compassion. He was not annoyed by interruptions; he loved on children; cried at Lazarus' death; and restored Peter to the ministry even after Peter denied he knew him.
7. Demonstrated his power not only to stop storms, but to change lives. The sinful woman at the well experienced a transformed life. So did the man delivered from demon possession who dwelled among the tombs, so wild he couldn't be chained. He cut himself and cried day and night. Suddenly he was delivered and in his right mind. (Mark 5:1-15)
Jesus didn't use his power to draw attention to himself, but because He loves people.
8. Claimed to be God and demonstrated His divinity by walking out of the tomb alive, verified by many witnesses. He said, "The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!" (John 8:38 NLT)
9. Demonstrated His love for humankind by dying on the cross in order that death would be swallowed by life (2 Corinthians 5:3-5). For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
10. Demonstrated how He will come back for His church when He was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud received him out of their sight. An angel told the 500 men and other dumbfounded believers, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-10).

That's who Jesus is. Do you know Him?

A Huge Anniversary

Today Pops and I have been married almost as long as my mother lived.

By today's standards, she had a short life and we have a long marriage.

When I was a reporter for the Lifestyle Department, sometimes I interviewed folks who had long marriages. I think I started talking to couples married 60 years, but then it went up to 70; then 75. Pops and I aren't near that mark yet, but as life expectancy increases, more couples celebrate that many years together.

One thread ran among all the anniversary interviews, no matter the background or religion: "We experienced a few times where we could have divorced, but we stuck it out and overcame our problems."

Over and over these experts on how to make a marriage work repeated the Apostle Paul's advice in Ephesians 4:6 which says, "Don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you're still angry." (NLT) The couples didn't say where they learned this, but I knew and I've tried to put Paul's advice into my life and marriage myself.

Ephesians 4 gives wisdom about how to live. If I could do everything Paul suggests, I'd probably be perfect. But I'm not. I'm still the fiery redhead my husband married and we're both as opinionated as we've always been. We mesh well in many areas, but there are a few that create sparks. Real arguments are seldom won. We both end up with the opinions with which we began.

My mom used to say, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

When co-workers had a hot discussion in the newsroom about politics or the issue of the day, they'd sometimes ask what I thought. I responded, "Argument never proves anything. All it does is prove who is better at debate."

Sometimes it proves who is the most stubborn, too. Talk to us, and my husband would tell you I'm the stubborn one. I would disagree.

In our marriage, most things we discuss aren't that important. It helps me to admit to myself it's trivial. But there are things hugely important to me. These things aren't debatable and I'm glad my husband and I agree on the important principles of life.

Jesus made a simple power-point for us so we'd know where to put our priorities. Too many of us miss the first point: "Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence" (Matthew 22:36-37 The Message).

Then Jesus added, "Love others as well as you love yourself."

I'm still working on those goals, and I can testify that commitment to God and each other results in success for marriage.