Engaging Your World

Friday, September 29, 2006

GOOD BYE "CHRISTMAS"

It is starting up once again, that's right the annual do away with Christmas season. In Port St. Lucie Florida at her school, on the second day of practice, fifth-grader Kayla Vance was told she can't play Mrs. Claus in A Penguin Christmas because the principal has axed any mention of the word "Christmas" in holiday festivals. They do not want the word Christmas mentioned! This is a progression that needs to be noted. In recent years we have been seeing the removal of any mention of Christ, whether it be in a school play or in a manger on a town square. Now they are after the word Christmas. Soon there will be no one left who will actually say, "Merry Christmas". Most people by now are indoctrinated with the "Happy Holidays" greeting. The progression is important as it will not stop with Merry Christmas anymore than it stopped with the word Christ.

So what is next? Will there no longer be any Christmas cards with a manger under a star? Will it become impossible to find mangers for our houses? Will we have to resort to underground marketplaces for such things, and will we run the risk of fines or worse should we have the nerve to actually have these symbols on our lawns? Questions worth considering as we say good bye to the word Christmas!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Thursday, September 28, 2006

STAND UP YOUNG MAN!

In the unbelievable trends department, a school district in Norway is instructing boys to sit when they go to the bathroom, when they would normally stand. The rational from the school is that they are not "good aimers" and it is better for all if they sit like the girls do. While this might seem to be a good line of reasoning in the clean department, since in this school both boys and girls use the same facility, there is something else significant happening. It is another line that is being erased between the difference of males and females. Wouldn't the better solution be to make sure the boys clean up after themselves?

What this is saying is that the answer for the issue is to make them be more like girls in their private time. This is sending a very wrong message to young men who frankly in our day and age are being encouraged to question their sexuality early on. It is rulings like this that lead young people to the conclusion that there really is no difference between the genders. When this happens the door is open to every perversion known to man, and it is the children that pay the price. It will be interesting to watch and see just how long it takes this new phenomenon to reach our shores, and when it does I hope we all will stand for the right of boys to stand!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A MINISTRY LACKING INTEGRITY, SAD TO SAY!

I have received some emails in the past few days concerning an interview I did with JR Mahon of the XXX Church back in the summer. It is unusual to receive emails months later from the interview, but I assumed it was that people were going to the Engaging Your World website and heard the show there, although it still seemed odd. Well today I received an email from a gentleman from North Carolina about the interview and he made reference to receiving it on his ipod from the XXX Church. This caused me to go to their website and I was amazed at what I saw. On the front page of their site is three pictures of a man, I assume is JR with this written under it:

"JR GETS BEAT UP ON CHRISTIAN RADIO TAKE A LISTEN!!"

The show you will hear when you click to take a listen is the interview from my show. I listened again today to see if there was something I missed that would have caused a ministry to represent it in such provocative terms. Sad to say the interview was just as I remembered, a good discussion in which I laid out my reservations about having men in a porn convention, renting a booth and handing out Bibles. Sad to say, I made it clear that I appreciated JR's zeal for souls. Sad to say I pointed out in the interview that he seemed wanting to get into a confrontation which I did not. Sad to say there was nothing in the interview that would lead anyone to believe that JR was beat up on the show. I use the phrase, "sad to say", because it is sad that a ministry would go to such lengths to garner support and pity from its followers.

It is the height of irresponsibility to portray the interview in such terms. It demonstrates a lack of integrity from those involved and frankly is dishonest. But do not take my word for it, go to their site or mine and listen for yourself. You will also find it instructive to check out the comments from his followers concerning this interview. It says a lot about their ministry when they will knowingly lead people astray, and encourage such behavior from those who support them. So, where I once could say I had respect for their zeal and what they were seeking to accomplish, I now must say that I consider them to be suspect at best, in the areas of integrity and honesty. Sad to say!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

THE NECESSITY OF MARRIAGE!

In a day and age when companies like Ford see the need to target the divorcees as a market to be had, it is refreshing to talk with someone like Debbie Maken. On today's radio program I had that opportunity. She has written a book that advocates that all single people should be looking to get married. She goes so far to say that a single person who purposely chooses to not get married is in sin. While that may be a little strong, there is merit to the thesis of the book. It is God's norm that people get married. It is the most sacred of relationships that we have on this side of eternity, as there are no others that display Christ and the Church. To be sure, we have missed the importance and yes, necessity of marriage as given by God.

How would things change if marriage was valued as God values it? It is a question worth considering, as the breakdown of marriage is the breakdown of a society. We all would do well to take note of our view of marriage and dating, particularly what views we are passing down to the next generation. There is a beautiful possibility of a new generation of people who will value the covenant of marriage in ways that will transform their culture for the glory of God. It might be that this transformation will start with our view being corrected to be more in line with our Father's. And maybe, just maybe, ads like the one from Ford will be looked back on with disgust and dismay by future generations.


blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Monday, September 25, 2006

THANKS BILL!

By now many of you have seen or at least heard about former President Clinton being interviewed on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. What strikes me the most is how unpresidential Mr. Clinton continues to appear. In the face of some legitimate questioning about his handling or lack thereof concerning Bin Laden, Clinton went into a tirade, that did nothing but evidence how guilty he was of negligence. The red faced accusatory rant was anything but dignified. To Chris Wallace's credit he was the one looking in control. The truth as everyone knows it is that Clinton was soft on foreign policy and in fact he is one of the reasons we are where we are in this war on terror. We were attacked numerous times during his Presidency and Bin Laden himself testified to how our inaction caused him to question the resolve of our country.

It is good for us to be reminded of the facts of the Clinton Presidency particularly as we head towards an election that will determine the course of our nation for decades to come. Another Clinton in office be it Hillary or some other liberal will do nothing but further embolden those we are at war with to take it once again to our shores. So a big thank you to President Clinton for reminding us all of what we don't want come November 2008!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Thursday, September 21, 2006

FORD TOUGH? NOT WHEN IT COMES TO MARRIAGE!

A few nights ago I saw a commercial that left me astonished and angry. The commercial was for Ford vehicles and it had a dad hugging his kids and saying goodbye to them. As he looks into the car that the children get into, he says to their mother, obviously his ex-wife, "thanks for letting me come along", or something along those lines. As I watched, I was amazed at what was said in those few seconds. The message is clear, divorce is acceptable and in fact not all that bad. There was a line that was crossed in the commercial that is noteworthy. No longer is divorce such a negative situation, in fact it can be nice and pleasant and beneficial for all involved including the children. Based on the scene from the commercial the kids are happy well adjusted and loving life with their divorced parents.

But the reality is much different from the commercial. Divorce is a painful experience for all involved. It is not a lifestyle that is to be looked upon with a Norman Rockwell view. It is sad that Ford sees such a hurting group of people as a marketplace opportunity. But market share is king and it seems that every area of life is fair game if the dollar is involved. The final point to consider in this sad scenario is the message it sends about marriage. How devaluing is it to marriage to simply accept and embrace divorce as a cultural norm? I am afraid we are watching and taking part in the fall of an empire much like happened to Rome. The glory for God in all of this, is the witness believers can be as they uphold and live out the covenant of marriage, in spite of the message given by the Fords of the world!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

WELL DONE SIR!

In the midst of the worldwide condemnation of the Pope and his comments from Muslims, our President took the podium at the United Nations and gave a speech that was as courageous as it was timely. I do not remember a President with the courage of this one, to speak the truth regardless of audience. In front of representatives from the nations of the world, the President called terrorism what it is and put countries on notice that needed to be put on notice. Unlike his predecessors he did not feel the need to be politically correct. Instead he felt the need to be direct and forthcoming. Like him or not, you have to give President Bush credit for being a man of conviction.

Noticeably absent from the hall and the lunch that followed was the President of Iran. In spite of his threats to face down President Bush on both occasions, he was nowhere to be found, as is the case with most bullies. Today was a day that I was proud of our President. Though I disagree with him on a variety of issues, I admired his courage on behalf of our country, particularly when speaking to an audience that included many who would like to see our destruction. Job well done Mr. President!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Friday, September 15, 2006

GOOD FOR THE POPE!

Now they are after the Pope! Muslims around the world are protesting the Pope and his comments. From the wires;

"The pope quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.
"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said.
"He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,"' he quoted the emperor as saying. He did not explicitly agree with them nor repudiate them"

The reaction among the Muslim community is to equate the pope with people like Hitler! Now I am no fan of the Pope as far as the office, but what did he do that was so abhorrent? He simply quoted from a leader from the fourteenth century as to his view of the tension between Islam and other faiths. What is needed is for people to look through the reactions of Muslims and consider the truth of the quote. What this actually shows was that centuries ago it was clear that Islam was a belief system that promoted violence and spreading of the faith "by the sword".

What was clear to so many centuries ago has become blurred by the passing of time. Today people want to advocate for the teachings of Mohammed as peaceful and respectful. But the closer you get to the source of those teachings the clearer the picture, and it is a picture of hate, violence and spreading their belief at any cost. What did the Pope do wrong? He had the nerve to actually speak truth in a world that worships the trinity of political correctness, unity and tolerance. The interesting thing now will be to watch and see if the Vatican backtracks from the statements.

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A DIFFERENT GOSPEL AS GIVEN BY GODS ENEMIES!

The cover of this week's Time magazine asks the question, "Does God want you to be Rich?". In the article they consider the ministries of people like TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar(never a good thing if your pastor's last name is Dollar!) and Joel Osteen. The common denominator among these men and many others is there heretical teaching, overt or implied, that God wants us to be rich. Some go so far to teach it is a promise from God for His people , therefore if that is not the case with you then it is a result of your lack of faith. Not surprisingly these heretics have huge followings, filling up stadiums, some like Osteen even charge admission! What is frightening is not necessarily the number of followers but the breadth from which they come. It is no longer a fringe Pentecostal phenomenon. Now the adherents to this heresy come from every stripe of Christianity.

The danger of these men and their teaching is that their focus is on earthly material things, and the acquiring of them. They treat Christianity as if it were some great self help movement, instead of a cross bearing following of Christ to glory. They speak of the Lord as if He is some heavenly butler waiting to wait on His people, instead of the King of heaven and earth who calls us to die to self daily if we are to be His. Ultimately these heretics are Gods enemies, who are of the spirit of Anti-Christ. That might seem strong to you, but if you think about it, they teach and preach the opposite, anti, what Jesus taught. Their teachings conflict often with the Word of God. So I stay with God who spoke this through the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:8;

"if I or an angel from heaven preach a gospel different than the one I preached to you let him be accursed."

Amen!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

A DIFFERENT GOSPEL AS GIVEN BY GODS ENEMIES!

The cover of this week's Time magazine asks the question, "Does God want you to be Rich?". In the article they consider the ministries of people like TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar(never a good thing if your pastor's last name is Dollar!) and Joel Osteen. The common denominator among these men and many others is there heretical teaching, overt or implied, that God wants us to be rich. Some go so far to teach it is a promise from God for His people , therefore if that is not the case with you then it is a result of your lack of faith. Not surprisingly these heretics have huge followings, filling up stadiums, some like Osteen even charge admission! What is frightening is not necessarily the number of followers but the breadth from which they come. It is no longer a fringe Pentecostal phenomenon. Now the adherents to this heresy come from every stripe of Christianity.

The danger of these men and their teaching is that their focus is on earthly material things, and the acquiring of them. They treat Christianity as if it were some great self help movement, instead of a cross bearing following of Christ to glory. They speak of the Lord as if He is some heavenly butler waiting to wait on His people, instead of the King of heaven and earth who calls us to die to self daily if we are to be His. Ultimately these heretics are Gods enemies, who are of the spirit of Anti-Christ. That might seem strong to you, but if you think about it, they teach and preach the opposite, anti, what Jesus taught. Their teachings conflict often with the Word of God. So I stay with God who spoke this through the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:8;

"if I or an angel from heaven preach a gospel different than the one I preached to you let him be accursed."

Amen!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ROSIE AND AIR AMERICA, A DAILY DOUBLE!

I have never seen the show "The View", but I do know that Rosie O' Donnell is the newest member of the panel. It did not take her long at all to display the ignorant bias that makes up her worldview. Yesterday on the show reportedly she made the following statement;

"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state."

While there is not enough time and space to expose all the ignorance in such a statement, there are some things worth considering. First of all why should anyone be surprised? It is not like her views are not known, she is an avowed left wing liberal lesbian who despises anything or anyone who would call her actions into account. Second, the sad truth is that there are many people who will believe her position to be true simply because of her celebrity status. Because they liked her talk show they will subscribe to her worldview. I am always amazed at how people believe if you are a talented performer that somehow equates to being politically savvy. The truth is that Rosie had a tragic childhood where she was abused and that is why she like so many others got caught up in the homosexual lifestyle. She should be in our prayers that she would receive Jesus Christ as her Savior and be set free from the sins that grip her.

Along the same lines as far as ideology,news today is that Air America Radio is expected to file reorganization bankruptcy on Friday. The extreme left radio network cannot draw listeners. It seems that the majority of Americans are smart enough to figure out that hosts like Al Franken are not worth their listening time. I would like to say I will miss the shows once they are done once and for all, which eventually they will be, but I, like millions of others simply do not listen.

blog you later,
pastor tom

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A MOVIE TO MISS!

Gabriel Range,is the 32-year-old British director of "Death of a President". It is a new movie about America that has our President, George Bush being assassinated! In the movie there are Muslims who have been falsely arrested and at some point the President is killed. This is an outrageous misuse of the arts. We all know how powerfully movies affect people. All of us have come out of a movie with a desire to be the characters of a movie at one time or another. There is also a special class of people that are troubled and have difficulty separating fact from fiction. They at times seek to take action on what they saw, in a copy cat form. This movie, believe it or not, was reviewed at the Toronto film festival and has found a distributor to carry it in our country. I hope there will be outrage from all sides of the political arena.

How could someone agree to show such a despicable film is beyond me. Like him or not, the President is in a job that is of the utmost importance and carries more pressure than any of us will ever know. To make and distribute such a disturbing image of a sitting President being murdered, shatters all decency barriers. Not to mention that this President has family that has to endure this tragic film. Just when you think you have seen it all, we reach a new low. The best thing we can do is take the occasion of this unfortunate film and use it as a reminder to pray for our President and his family. While you are at it pray for those who would be of such a depraved mind that they would see this as a good idea!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Monday, September 11, 2006

UNSUNG HEROES!

Incredibly it has already been five years since the tragedy that was 9/11/01. A day that will live in infamy in the history of our country and the world. It was a day that families were drawn back together. A day where, for a moment, the priorities of people were correct. As people remember, there have been many stories of heroism and sacrifice, but one of the most inspiring came from a guest on my radio show last week. Leslie Haskins was someone who worked on the 36th floor of Tower one. That is where she was when the first plane hit. In her book she recounts the journey out of the building as well as her journey to faith in Christ.

One thing not in the book that I asked her about was did she encounter any believers in Christ on the way down thirty six floors? Her answer was heart warming. She said she remembers thinking that everyone was panicking except the Christians. In the midst of sheer madness it was the believers in Christ who were praying, quoting Scripture and comforting others. Knowing their death was imminent, the Lords people went into action and began to minister for the glory of God. How awesome to know that while we all watched pictures of two burning buildings from the outside, God was working through His people on the inside. While most people were running out of the buildings, heroic firefighters, policeman and believers in Christ were staying inside! We have heard of the heroism of the firefighters and police, but rarely have we heard of the heroism of His people. And isn't that always the way it is with our Lord, seeking to serve and not be served! May God bless and comfort all those who remember and mourn on this day.

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Friday, September 08, 2006

JUSTICE?

So what happens if you install secret cameras in school restrooms and record over a period of time over 800 tapes, constituting 360 counts of unlawful surveillance? What happens to you if you are a 47 year old handy man names Michael Conte and you installed cameras in the fourth floor women's restroom at George Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn? Any guesses? Well the sad reality is that you get only get probation and community service, first because a psychologist concluded there wasn't a threat that Conte would physically abuse anyone. That psychologist should be asked if he or she would be comfortable with Mr. Conte watcher their kids if they had any. The other reason he received such a sentence is in the words of Judge Tomei,
"Sending the defendant to jail would not in any way benefit society or this defendant. This probation sentence will fully protect the interests of society," the judge concluded.

There are times when the facts are so glaring that comment is not needed, and this is one of those times!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com

Thursday, September 07, 2006

THE PRESIDENT OF IRAN COMING TO NEW YORK!

The President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amazingly is coming to New York city on September 19th to speak at the United Nations. While I could spend a lot of time giving evidence to the UN outlasting its usefulness and needing to leave our county I will refrain from the temptation. The interesting aspect of Ahmadinejads appearance is that he has challenged President Bush to a debate. What he wants to debate is what is better for society, and here is his the telling quote;

"It is possible to prove in a debate which of the two political systems is a better choice for the world nations: the one that is established based on the norms of liberalism and has caused so much dilemmas and plight for the mankind, or the one that is established based on monotheism and justice?"

Translation, we are in a religious war of biblical proportions. What the Iranian President believes is that his mission is to submit the world to Islam, defined by him as monotheism and justice.

In the same news cycle, word comes form Pakistan of a Christian worker at a construction site drinking water from a glass reserved for the poor at a construction site in Pakistan. The reaction of Muslim people there was amazing, from the Voice of the Martyrs;

"Returning to the construction site, a Muslim man asked him, 'Why did you drink water from this glass since you are a Christian?'"
The man then accused Nasir of polluting the glass, yanked the glass off the iron chain, broke it and threw it in a garbage can.

He also summoned other militant Muslims nearby.
"This man polluted our glass," he told them.

The result was an incensed mob that beat Nasir, yelling that a "Christian dog" drank from their glass.
Bystanders encouraged the beating, because it would be a "good" deed that would help them in heaven, the report said.
"The attackers pushed Nasir off a ledge onto the ground, and the fall dislocated his shoulder and broke his collarbone in two places," the VOM report said.

It is good for us to be reminded of the reality that is the Muslim faith, or as the Iranian President would describe it, Monotheism and justice!. Today we must understand that we do not battle flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of wickedness! What is needed today from Gods people is the full armor of God as we move into a time in our nation of unparalleled danger!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A FLUKE?

In our day and age of incredible media saturation we often are stunned to hear of the sudden death of one we feel we know through the media. Such is the case with the death of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile guy, at the age of 44. Everyone knows by now that as he swam above a Stingray, it released a sharp object that pierced his heart and evidently killed him almost instantly. It is said by the experts that this was a "fluke thing", "unlucky". Those who know the Lord Jesus Christ know differently, we know that our day is already appointed. All of the days have been written for us before we were born. What happened to Steve Irwin was according to Gods time table and had nothing to do with being a fluke or unlucky.

We should be reminded at times like these, that our time is short. God in His Word describes life with words such as "morning mist", "evening shadow", something that does not last very long. Therefore it is ever more imperative that we redeem the days. Not to waste any of the gift of life that He has given us, but use it to the full for His glory! So while the world sits back and marvels at the incredible "bad luck", and considers the "fluke" of being in the "wrong place at the wrong time", lets us see God. And remember Psalm 63:3 which tells us that the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Monday, September 04, 2006

LABORING TO REST!

As we celebrate Labor Day it might be helpful to take a moment and reflect on how we view both labor and rest. It seems as technology advances that people are actually working more and not less. It also seems that not many people take the time to have that day of rest as God would instruct in Commandment number four. God calls us to work for six days and rest on the seventh. Most people are unaware that we really are called to a six day work week and not five. We have taken it for granted that we should have weekends off, but the Lord calls the work week six days not five. There is also the call to remember the Sabbath. Not only to just remember it, but to keep it holy. A day set aside to spend worshipping the Lord, not a day to fit Church into an already crazy schedule. If asked most of us would have to plead guilty to not truly having a Sabbath day, a real day of rest. Sure we have a day off but most of us fill it with simply more of the world.

Is the call to be a monk for that day and remove ourselves from everyone and everything? Not at all, but it is also not a call that is meaningless and should be disregarded as something for people of the Old Testament. There is a balanced middle ground that I believe is honoring to God. It is truly taking one complete day and being intentional on focusing on the Lord. It should center around the corporate gathering of the people of God, Church, but it should not end with Church. We should endeavor to use the rest of that day enjoying God and His good gifts to us. It begins with recognizing Him in those gifts, be it the joy of eating with family, enjoying some form or entertainment or sports, or simply taking a walk or a drive to admire His creation. Work is a blessing from God that should be done to His glory, and so is a day of rest!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Friday, September 01, 2006

WAL-MART, OPEN AND AFFIRMING!

News comes out today (pun intended) that the retail giant Wal-Mart has joined the National Gay Chamber of Commerce. A report on an advertising industry site, AdAge, said that Wal-Mart had not only joined the NGLCC but also has hired a "gay-marketing" shop and started discussions about extending domestic-partner benefits to employees. Wal-Mart sees this as a natural part of their marketing strategy, no different than trying to reach other groups such as the Hispanic and African-American chambers of commerce. In that connection and justification we see the glaring problem. Homosexuality is not a race nor a minority group, but they have positioned themselves to be treated as such.

Due to the clever marketing strategies of the homosexual movement they have impressed themselves upon society as a minority. They seek and unfortunately receive treatment as if they were a race of people. They are treated as if homosexuality was a state of being instead of a lifestyle choice. And this has happened to our culture because people simply are not willing to think. We have become a brain dead society that believes only headlines and thirty second news stories without ever having the temerity to do some research to actually get the facts, such as there is no science that declares homosexuality as something you are born with. Thus we have giants like Wal-Mart bowing down to the "race" of homosexuals, giving them added credibility and leverage in this cultural war. The losers in this as always are our children who due to their parents and grandparents being asleep at the wheel will face battles and persecutions that we never would have dreamed of, and that my friends, will be to our shame!

blog you later,
pastor tom