NOTICE: Please watch video before reading my comments.
Watch Video Here
Hearty laughter was my initial reaction, but that quickly morphed into a confused anger. I attributed this anger to the fact that Jesus name was being dragged through the mud and that his character was being grossly maligned. At first I thought I was offended by the video itself, but as I began to think about it I realized that my anger had not arisen from the voice-over, goofy video, but at the world's misconception of Jesus that it was satirizing. So in my view this video accomplishes two goals: 1). It makes you laugh real hard. 2). It makes you realize the vastly misconstrued views that the world has concerning the Prince of Glory.
Let me know what you think. (Feel free to quote your favorite line. My personal favorite was. "One coin. Are you serious?")
NOTICE: Please watch video before reading my comments.
The last three years Mindy and I have attended the Resolved Conference in Southern California. This year we obviously will not be able to make it, but that does not mean that you can't. Check out this trailer. I also highly recommend the free sermon downloads from last year's conference (you need to sign up first - its free), particularly C.J. Mahaney's two sessions.
(Another document that I have been meaning to post for sometime. As part of the application process at Jerusalem University College I was required to write an autobiographical sketch by answering some provided questions. Hopefully this will enlighten some of my reasons for studying in Israel.)
1. Describe your personal history: family background, marital status, and employment or business experience.
I was born and raised in south Texas. I grew up on a farm as the oldest of three brothers. All of my immediate family and most of my extended family live in Texas, my Father works as a department head for a water treatment plant, my mother is a first grade teacher, and my two brothers are still in school (one in college, the other in high school). I have been married for just over a year and a half (June 2006) to my high school sweet heart, whom I dated since my freshman year of high school and now live with in Los Angeles, CA.
Growing up on a farm in Texas meant that my summer months from the age of twelve onward until college were full of sweaty, dirty work. I would work long hours, sometimes 60-70 per week until the harvest was in, it was these long these summer days that ingrained in me the necessity of hard work to accomplish goals. Moving on from my high school years into college I worked various part-time jobs while I was in school, but when I got married as a sophomore in college I needed to have more than a part-time income. So in accordance with my need the Lord graciously provided a full time job for me, this job was in the field of construction. So for the last eighteen months I have been working as an estimator for a commercial framing company. This was quite an unexpected opportunity that has greatly developed my understanding of both construction and business.
2. Describe your Christian experience. What is your relationship with Jesus Christ? How does this relationship influence your involvement in church, in service and ministry opportunities, and in other activities?
Christ is the only thing in the universe that is worthy of my worship. Everything else in the world is worthless when compared to his matchless glory. He has magnificently saved me from sin and shame, given me a life of peace, and most importantly rescued me from eternal separation from him by giving me an unmerited right standing before his just Father, the judge. He has conquered sin and given me a newness of life that I never could have attained on my own, and because of these things the desires of my heart of been transformed in order that I may honor him. This means that all that I am, everything I possess and have influence over must be wholly devoted to my Savior.
The Creator in his wisdom has given those, whom he has sovereignly saved, one main avenue to express their obedience and devotion to him. The church, which is the chosen manifestation of Christ's body on the physical earth, has been specifically and carefully designed by God to be the place where his followers worship him, as well as testifying to the unbelieving world of their Master's glory. However, just because the church is the designed place for believers to worship God does not mean that it is the only venue that they may express their praise. A believer's worship should be apparent in everything that they do, not just at church. Furthermore, as Christians (literally Christ's followers), we are called to a life that glorifies and magnifies our Savior through daily worship to him. This type of worship is not mere ritualism, it is characterized by a heart that wants to make its Savior great and is made manifest through everyday activities like driving, conversations, entertainment, work, and relationships. It is through these types of everyday occurrences in our lives that we are able to worship our Savior and to work out the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith), so that we may show that he is supreme through our devotion to obedience of his commands.
3. Describe your educational history, including your educational and professional goals. Why do you want to pursue a degree at Jerusalem University College? What goals have you set before yourself that you hope to accomplish while at JUC?
I will be graduating this semester from The Master's College in Santa Clarita, CA with a Bachelor's Degree in Biblical Studies (Biblical Language emphasis). Over the course of my four years at Masters I was able to spend a semester abroad in Israel with Master's IBEX (Israel Bible Extension) program. This experience has had a lasting impact on my life and fueled my desire to return to the Land of the Bible and learn even more about its vast history. My main goal for attending Jerusalem University College is that I would gain an excellent grasp of Biblical History in relation to geography that will prepare me to teach at either the collegiate level or in pastoral ministry. Also while at JUC I would like to develop a better understanding of Hebrew both Biblical and Modern.
4. Evaluate your ability to within a multi-cultural and multi-religious environment. What overseas experience do you have?
I have no doubts about my ability to live within a multi-cultural and multi-religious environment. I have spent a semester in Israel, as mentioned above, as well as made trips to Egypt and Italy, all of which I believe have prepared me to live in Israel for an extended period of time. Moreover, the multi-ethnic, multi-culture is one of the main reasons that I am looking forward to studying abroad, there is nothing like living in another culture and experiencing its differences and similarities to my own culture.
(I wrote this about two years ago for a friend and have been meaning to post it for a while. While my spelling has improved slightly - some corrections have been made - I still would say the same things about these books today)
The story begins with a middle-age businessman, basically just living his life nothing to monumental at first, but as the reader begins to see this man's life and how it relates to the demon's who are at every move he makes to drive him deeper into sin, the reader is given a glimpse into the spiritual realm.
The book begins with telling the story of a highly successful US businessmen, who has many dealings in China. Then the reader is given the background of the businessman. He was a professing believer in college, went to church and campus Bible study, during his 4 year college career he was given a roommate who was from China, this man was not a believer, however, when the two became roommates the Chinese man began coming to Bible Study with the American and quickly became a believer, these two men became very close friends, and upon graduation made a pledge to one another to stay in touch and pray for each other every day. As time passed the Chinese man got his master's degree and went back to China to teach, while the American stayed in the US and as was stated earlier, began to become very successful. But as the American became more and more successful, he began to stray away from the faith ( the book makes it clear that he was not really a believer), whereas, the Chinese man even though he had a high degree was forced into poverty, because he was a Christian, he however did not stray, rather he became more and more involved with the underground, Chinese church.
- The Doctor is an atheist who is strongly against anything religious particularly Christianity, (He in fact is an abortion doctor)
- The Businessmen is a believer
- The Journalist always finds himself in between his two friends, although he leans more to the Doctor, but with less opposition
The story begins with these three friends together with their families watching Seattle Seahawk's football, which is a tradition for them every week, they decide to go out for pizza, but they have an awful car wreck on the way back home, which leaves the Doctor and the Businessmen seriously injured, and they both eventually "succumb" to their injuries, leaving the Journalist behind. This is really where the story begins as the Journalist's character is developed
Throughout the book, as is always the case with an Alcorn book, you will see glimpses of Heaven and Hell, these are what make the book to me, because it cause you to engage with the character's you have come to know, as they are experiencing the larger realities of Heaven or Hell.
My Rating: 9.5/10
One of my all time favorite books, probably a tie with Lord Foulgrin's Letters as far as my favorite Alcorn Book. This is one of those book that follows the old adage of "not being able to put it down." It will blow you away entertainment wise, but it will also encourage you profoundly.
I just want to reiterate what these books mean to me, they have changed my life more than any theology book ever could, there is so much value in them. Randy Alcorn truly is a gifted writer and a theologian, who has an unbelievable imagination that is only topped by his love for the Lord. This is evident in all of his work.
Posted by Chris McKinny | Posted in Travels | Posted on 2:32 AM
Well, we made it back to Abraham's Promised Land. We are so thankful to be back. Tired, but thankful. We encountered a little bit of trouble at the airport. The trouble arose because of Mindy's visa situation and a lack of return ticket back to the U.S. We had to purchase a ticket back to the states (fully refundable) in order for her to be able to pass through security. Which was no big deal, except for the fact that the tickets cost $50 more than we had in our checking account. Luckily, Wells Fargo has an amazing online banking system and I was able to quickly transfer some funds and we were able to ride off into the sunset. The flight itself was great (I watched 4 movies - including Appaloosa which was one of the best recent westerns that I have seen) and we made it through customs without a hitch in Israel. God was so gracious to us, he worked out all the details.