Daily devotions


To lead is to make decisions

From FSAOF blog:
Someone said once, that the one thing all leaders have in common is that they have followers. True. But they also have enemies.

A friend recently defined leadership for me this way:
“Leadership is disappointing people at a pace they can tolerate.”

That makes more sense, in a real, down to earth type of church setting. It reminds me of a quote I read recently in a Teddy Roosevelt biography, which I adapted to:
To lead is to make decisions. To make decisions is to alienate some.
I wish it weren't so, but it is. Every time a leader makes a decision, someone is going to disagree--perhaps strongly--with that decision. But it is the leader's task to decide, and whenever possible to communicate the reasons for a decision as effectively as possible, so that (it is hoped) the majority of folks who might have an opinion are helped toward acceptance and even support of the decision. But every decision will engender disagreement, and the harder the decision, the more likely the disagreement will be both sharp and broad.

Some leaders, wounded by this reality, turn to a modus operandi of trying never again to make an unpopular decision (which, of course, makes them more followers of the crowd than leaders of the flock). Others of us try to survive by shutting down or shutting out all criticism because it's just too painful, demotivating, and even demobilizing to hear a constant thrumming of negative reaction. I hope to become a leader who can do neither. I hope to get better at facing the reality that decisions invite disagreement. But with THAT reality comes another: every disagreement presents an opportunity for a new decision, to fight, to flee, or (the choice I hope to take), to acknowledge the leader's role, responsibility...and respect for those who disagree.

Tom Wood (from Bob Hostetler's blog)


New soldiers at Riga 2 corps

For the second time this year there was a soldiers enrolment service at Riga 2. Most people coming to the corps are homeless people. Also the soldiers. After the meetings at Sundays and Wednesdays a full dinner is served to the people coming to the service.
See more pictures from the service>>


Hanks: Life in Latvia

From Statesman.com:
RIGA, LATVIA — Not every American who travels abroad visits this tiny capital, much less gets here two summers in a row. Yet having briefly worked for a newspaper in the region — and having friends in the area — I've somehow ended up here more often than expected.

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Using Common Sense to Debunk Evolution - CBN.com

Pat Robertson interviews evangelist and author Ray Comfort about how Christians can use logic to point Darwin followers to God.


UN Chief’s warning – the end of the world is nigh!

Nile Gardiner wites in Telegraph.co.uk:
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has such a low profile on the world stage that he’s referred to as
“the invisible man”. Perhaps in an effort to boost his press coverage he’s given a speech in Incheon, South Korea (hat tip: Drudge), that can only be described as a bizarre PR stunt, with the sort of cataclysmic environmental statements doled out in scientifically dodgy disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow or the forthcoming 2012.
In his address to the Global Environment Forum this week (read talking shop for unelected, overpaid bureaucrats), Ban warned of impending “droughts, floods and other natural disasters”, as well as mass social unrest and violence – “the human suffering will be incalculable” - if the world’s leaders did not “seal a deal” on climate change at a summit in Copenhagen in December. In the Secretary General’s ominous words:
“We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.”

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President Obama: Don’t become too Swedish!

Mats Tunehag writes in his blog:
Every country, culture and political systems has flaws. We are after all fallible human beings, thus nothing we do will ever be absolutely perfect. Some Swedes tend to believe that Sweden is the "best of all possible worlds". (BTW: Candide, by Voltaire, should be required reading for everyone)
For some Americans Sweden is pseudo-communist, for others it provides the model to follow. But which Sweden are we talking about? Sweden has changed significantly in the last few decades. Sweden has fallen on an international welfare scale; its GDP per capita today is only 80 percent of that of the United States.
Richard W. Rahn has written a thought provoking article and comparative analysis of Sweden and the USA. He is questioning President Obama’s policies and the Democratic Congress which seem to be following the road travelled by Sweden: “Those who wish to chase the Swedish model need first to decide which model they seek: The high-growth, pre-1960 model; the low-growth model of the 1970s and 1980s; or the reformist, welfare-state model of recent years. The irony is that the current Democratic Congress and administration are rapidly emulating the parts of the Swedish model that proved disastrous and rejecting those parts that are proving to be successful.”

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From Michaels blogg:
"Apprising Ministries asks if you might remember Anne Holmes Redding, who claims to be both a Muslim and Christian simultaneously, and whom we discussed in An Emerging Christian Muslim Priestess For Allah Says, “Jesus Led Me Into Islam.”
Well, the Global Family takes another step forward; we just couldn’t make this kind of stuff up as, at his website Brian McLaren, unquestionably a leader in the egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church—morphing into Emergence Christianity (EC)—tells us in Ramadan 2009: Part 1 What’s going on?:
Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of fasting for spiritual renewal and purification. It commemorates the month during which Muslims believe Mohammed received the Quran through divine revelation, and it calls Muslims to self-control, sacrificial generosity and solidarity with the poor, diligent reading of the Quran, and intensified prayer.
This year, I, along with a few Christian friends (and perhaps others currently unknown to us will want to join in) will be joining Muslim friends in the fast which begins August 21. We are not doing so in order to become Muslims: we are deeply committed Christians. But as Christians, we want to come close to our Muslim neighbors and to share this important part of life with them… (
Online source)
However lovely the sentiment, God has clearly told us not to do what McLaren and the “Christians” committing this violation of Scripture with him are about to do because those in the false religion of Islam:
sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons… Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? (1 Corinthians 10:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, NASB)
And yet, as we see in
Ramadan 2009: Part 2 Why is a committed Christian joining faithful Muslims in observing Ramadan?, McLaren is the type of teacher the supposedly evangelical Rob Bell is allowing in his church. It’s time to wake-up to the fact that these men are developing a whole other quasi-Christian religion based on their synthetic reality skewed by their Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism."


The Lies Called "Post-Modernism"/Relativism and Tolerance

Is there a truth? Or can any thruth be the truth? This video (14 minutes) deals with Bible Interpretation, Relativism, Tolerance and the post-modern Church.



Emerging Church

“For the emerging churches, (church is) not a place, it’s a people,” [Fuller Seminary’s Eddie] Gibbs said. “It’s not a weekly gathering; it’s a seven-day-a-week community. And you don’t go to church; you are the church.”

From Getreligion.org



John MacArthur answers a question about "Emerging Church" and "seeker-friendly" - movements.
"Absolutely. It is the new liberalism. It is the new liberalism! It’s no different than the old liberalism, which was a social gospel. That’s what this is, only it’s not a social gospel, because it doesn’t reach out to the poor. It’s not the down-and-outers; it’s the up-and-inners. It’s a psychological gospel. So, the psychological feel-good gospel is the new liberalism. Nobody’s going to say that they deny the Word of God; it’s just not “relevant.” It’s just not relevant."

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To be or not to be offended - that's the question

Mats Tunehag writes in his blog:
"Alberth Mohler writes about the “hate speech” concept in the article The Culture of Offendedness?. He rightly points out that you cannot have a free and democratic society and at the same time have guarantees that no-one should ever be offended by other people’s expressed opinions. Or as Salman Rusdhie puts it: “Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation.”

“Hate speech” is built on a flawed concept, contrary to fundamental rule-of-law principles, moving from freedom of speech to freedom from hearing (things you don’t like). Thus it is both sad and worrying that President Obama is working hard to get a hate speech law to be passed by the US Congress. "

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