Family First

Phil_mcgraw_1Here's an article I received by my friend Mike Steele:

I went to the book store today and found a book that surprised me. Dr. Phil, famous for his TV counseling, has written another book. The title jumped off the shelf at me . Family First! Here’s what Dr. Phil says on the book cover.

I want to talk to you about Family: Yours and Mine.

I know and feel that as parents, you and I share some very important priorities. Just like you, I love my family more than anything in the world and I want us all to be safe, healthy, happy and prosperous in everything we do, both within our family and as we go out into the world. Cynics will tell you that it is just an old-fashioned, lost concept, getting buried in a busy world of “enlightened” people. I’m here to tell you that that is not right, not even close. Family is even more important today than in generations past, and its erosion is unacceptable. This is a fight we can and must win. …. Your children are the stars in your crown and it is time for them to shine; it is okay for them to shine and, if you do your job, shine they will.

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The Top 10 Churches in the World

The Top 10 Churches in the World
by Wolfgang Simson

Agreed: influence in today´s world is far more important than size.
However, looking at the number of people attending some of the world´s largest churches in the year 2004 gives us an understanding of where we are going in the future. Many things are changing: Churches, that have had 300.000 attenders 10 years ago, like the once famous cinema-church "Ondas del Luz y Amor" in Buenos Aires, are almost gone. Completely new models are emerging, like in India´s city Allahabad, where, on Sunday, a University simply changes into a church, with up to 80.000 people attending weekly.

Membership figures are changing strongly, and active participation can be more acurately measured by attendance – "voting with our feet" – than being a name on a membership roll. Yonggi Chos church in Seoul, for example, speaks of 773.000 members, but "only" 253.000 do actually attend the services in the main church and the Seoul satellite churches.

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The Ragamuffin Gospel

A man walked into the doctor’s office and said, "Doctor, I have this awful headache that never leaves me. Could you give rue something for it?" "I will," said the doctor, "but I want to check a few things out first. Tell me, do you drink a lot of liquor?" "Liquor?" said the man indignantly. "I never touch the filthy stuff."

"How about smoking?"

"I think smoking is disgusting. I’ve never in my life touched tobacco."

"I’m a bit embarrassed to ask this, but-you know the way some men are-do you do any running around at night?"

"Of course not. What do you take me for? I’m in bed every night by ten o’clock at the latest."

"Tell me," said the doctor, "the pain in the head you speak of, is it a sharp, shooting kind of pain?"

"Yes," said the man. "That’s it-a sharp, shooting kind of pain."

"Simple, my dear fellow! Your trouble is you have your halo on too tight. All we need to do is loosen it a bit." The trouble with our ideals is that if we live up to all of them, we become impossible to live with. The tilted halo of the saved sinner ts worn loosely and with easy grace. We have discovered that the cross accomplished far more than revealing the love of God. The blood of the Lamb points to the truth of grace: what we cannot do for ourselves, God has done for us. On the cross, somehow, some way, Christ bore our sins, took our place, died for us. At the cross, Jesus unmasks the sinner not only as a beggar but as a criminal before God. Jesus Christ bore our sins and bore them away. We cannot wash away the stain of our sins, but He is the Lamb who has taken away the sins of the world.

The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning, Page 72-73

Eldredge on the Church

Remember, pleasure is often more about drugging ourselves than it is about enjoying ourselves. And the things we do to avoid the ache are always worse in the end than the ache itself.

John Eldredge, from "The Journey of Desire" ISBN 0-7852-6716-6 Page 184

… we have only three options: (1) to be alive and thirsty, (2) to be dead, or (3) to be addicted. There are no other choices. Most of the world lives in addiction; most of the church has chosen deadness. The Christian is called to the life of holy longing.

John Eldredge, from "The Journey of Desire" ISBN 0-7852-6716-6 P 182-183

Thanks to Vern for sending me these quotes.