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World View


Illegal Immigration: The Christian Thing to Do (Part 2)


If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Last week, we considered why many Americans (81 percent) are angry with the Obama administration over the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are being allowed to cross our borders and stay here at taxpayer expense.

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Illegal Immigration: The Christian Thing to Do (Part 1)


If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Where Americans stand
Americans are a divided lot. Democrats vs. Republicans. Conservatives vs. Liberals. Abortion supporters vs. pro-lifers. Gun-owners vs. gun-control advocates. Marriage traditionalists vs. same-sex marriage supporters. There is little we seem to agree on these days.

At least, this was true until the latest scandal to hit the nightly news: the flood of illegal immigrants crossing our southern borders. According to a recent poll, 81% believe that this is a crisis which our government needs to address ASAP; and a whopping 77% want the problem addressed in the same manner – by sending illegal immigrants back home. They only differ in the question of how long it should take between their arrest and their deportation – from immediately to an indeterminate “only when it’s safe.”

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Calling All Watchmen


"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” Ezekiel 3:17-19

Ezekiel’s task
In 593 BC, a priest living in exile in Babylon was given a task to perform: the task of a watchman. That priest, Ezekiel, was told to warn the exiles in Babylon (just as Jeremiah was similarly warning the people living in Jerusalem) regarding the coming judgment on Judah. Between the time he was commissioned and the day a fugitive from Jerusalem arrived to announce the city’s fall in 586 BC, Ezekiel was mute: he could not speak anything other than the words of warning and judgment God gave to him (Ezekiel 33:21-22).

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Is Evil Winning?


On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man. Psalm 12:8

Bad news
I almost hate to watch the news these days. Terrorists on the march in Syria; terrorists taking control (again) in Iraq; Christians imprisoned, persecuted, or killed from one side of the globe to the other; innocent school girls kidnapped and raped by Muslim extremists; endless scandals involving the president and various government agencies; illegal immigrants overrunning our southern borders; U.S. cities going bankrupt; an ever-shrinking economy and labor force; the cloying escapades of the ubiquitous Kardashian clan (or other vapid celebrities); the constant din of sexual anarchists who pervert all that is decent and right; the assault on freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution; and apostate pastors and churches accommodating themselves to a debauched culture.

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Dreaming God's Dreams


The usual question
“It just goes to show that if you follow your dreams, you’ll achieve them,” says the victorious athlete as the microphone is thrust at him or her. “If I can do it, so can you.”

You’ll hear the same answer at talent shows, game shows, and pretty much every contest where a winner emerges from obscurity to fame. “What did it take to get you on the winner’s podium?” Almost always, it’s the pursuit of a dream that got them there. And it’s not just in competitions. Children in school are encouraged to dream big. Graduates are urged not to let their dreams die. Just about anyone who gives advice says, “Follow your dream(s).”

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How’s Your Joy?

Joy

“So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” John 16:22

Inspiring lyrics
In 1907, pastor Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933) penned words to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” – the much beloved melody of the final movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. In doing so, Van Dyke provided us with what some have called the greatest expression of joy found in English hymnody. If you have sung it in church, or heard its memorable rendition in Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act II, you will recall this song’s stirring opening:

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Hail Thee as the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day.

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