Why Am I Still Alive?

"Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure... Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?" (Job 3:20,21, 23)

I'd put this question to Nick Vujicic, to Joni Eareckson Tada, to Fanny Crosby, and to Annie Johnston Flint and, without any doubt, there'd be a pleasant service right now overflowing with the testimony of what God can do and has planned for each one of us despite the impossibilities that we face.... The very fact that we are alive is proof that God has a reason to keep us alive, a plan and a purpose He's busy about.. even if we aren't able to see that now!

The very fact that we are alive is proof that God has a reason to keep us alive, a plan and a purpose He's busy about.. even if we aren't able to see that now!

Preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2)

"Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction."

PREACH THE WORD, that's the primary ministry of a servant of God. All other things are only peripheral. Ministry of the word in prayer and proclamation is at the core of ministry.

Preaching implies (CAP)

COMMUNICATION of the Word with people. It is communication with people and so involves responsibility. The communication is personal and not impersonal. It aims at carrying God's message to the heart of the person through the power of the Holy Spirit.
ADDRESSING the issues that are relevant to the preaching. Addressing the question and need of the hour is ministry. Ministry is not a formality, but response to a need. One doesn't need to preach about atheism in a context where polytheism and not atheism is the biggest problem. Every age and area has its question that God's Word alone is capable to address. Jesus Christ is central to the proclamation of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit witnesses to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement.
PERSUASION. Propagation must be persuasive or else it is meaningless. The message must have a meaning, an aim, a target, and a purpose. The goal is obedience of faith.

In addition to these, one must remember the following about the ministry of the Word:

1. INTEGRITY OF THE WORD. Sound doctrine, rightly dividing the word of truth, and right application of the God's message are involved in possessing the pure and wholesome Word of God in all its integrity. One must never compromise or submit God's word to personal interpretation or dictates of one's feelings and opinions.
2. INTENSITY OF THE WORD. Paul exhorts Timothy to preach in season and out of season; to rebuke, to correct, to exhort. If the preacher is not passionate about the message, he has no business preaching it. If there is passion then the preaching will be "by all means" and in every way possible.
3. INTERNALITY OF THE WORD. The preacher's life should be the testimony of the word he preaches. In other words, one must not preach what one doesn't practice. The Word must be internal, transforming one's own life, before it can be communicated to others. The preacher must be an example to others in sound doctrine.

Reasons to Rejoice


"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!" (Phil.4:4)

We are called to rejoice IN THE LORD, not in circumstances. Happiness depends on happenings; but, we can rejoice in the Lord.

We'll look at 3 reasons, among many many more, to rejoice in the Lord.

We can rejoice because of DIVINE

When Gabriel met Mary in Luke 1:28, he greeted her saying, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Because of God's favor, Mary could say, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name." (46-49).

The favor of God protected, positioned, and promoted Joseph. God's favor in Christ Jesus is the reason why we can rejoice, because He doesn't treat us as we deserve but treats us as highly favored.

We can rejoice everyday again and again because of His favor every moment.

Jesus said in John 15 that if we abide in Him then we'll be fruitful. Right connection and communion brings fruitfulness. Barrenness brings sadness and sorrow; but, fruitfulness brings rejoicing. We can be joyful because God has plans of success and fruitfulness for us.

Back to Philippians 4, the Bible calls us to cast all our burdens on Christ and experience the freedom of truth and absolute reliance. Those who cast all their burdens on the Lord can be carefree, because He has promised to take care of us!

If you're waiting for the traffic to clear, you'll never get home....

If you're waiting for the traffic to clear, you'll never get home.
"The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." ~ Jesus (Matt 11:12)

Spiritual aggression is the courage to cut through the battle lines with confidence and strength that comes from the Holy Spirit within!

Slavery as Limited and Liberating in the OT (Deut.15:12-18)

People sometimes bemoan the fact that slavery was permitted in the Old Testament; but, what one needs not fail to recognize is that it was permitted for only a liberating purpose and with certain limitations. It was both limited and liberating.

Deuteronomy 15:12-18 underscores at least three laws about the practice of slavery:

1. It was to be VOLUNTARY.
The Law specifies, "If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself.."
It was not to be a forced bond-labor. It had to be voluntary. When a person would be in so much debt that he couldn't pay it back anymore, he usually would prefer selling himself as a slave. In other cultures, such slavery would become permanent and for generations. But, the Bible didn't permit that, unless the servant voluntarily willed to remain with the master (16-17).

2. It was to be TEMPORARY.
It says that when one has served for 6 years, in the 7th year "you must let him go free."

Slavery couldn't spill over into the 7th year, which was the year of emancipation and rest. In that way, though a slave would not receive any hire wages for six years, except the food and basic necessities he needed, his debts would ALL BE PAID within just 6 years. Imagine that!

3. It was to be EMANCIPATORY.
On the 7th year, the slave was not only released; the Law says, "And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you."

The 7th year not only liberated the slave from ALL his debts, it was also the year of blessing for him. He could start his own business with all that he received from his master!

That is why David said "I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous..." (Psalm 119:75).

In modern times as always, slavery is certainly an evil- in the Old Testament, it was only permitted as a lesser evil though with a seed of freedom implanted in it. However, today there are other more wicked ways in which people try to make slaves of people for life. When products are sold by using addictive mechanisms, when employees are forced into helpless subjection through manipulative methods, when banks and businesses force people into eternal and violent debts, these are more evil than the slavery that was present in olden days.

Bond-labor and forced bond-labor must be opposed; especially, bond-labor of kids: it is wickedness because the kids are innocent and not indebted to anyone: in fact, the world is responsible for the kids' welfare. But, at the same time we must also oppose mechanisms of society and economy that violate freedom through deception and intellectual violence.

Vatican, Aliens, and LUCIFER (Excerpts)

NOTE: Click on Headings to go to Source page.

Messianic Vision with Sid Roth
Guests: Tom Horn and Cris Putnam

April 1-5, 2013 — Show 1846
Tom Horn and Cris Putnam unveil a 900 year-old prophecy buried in the library of the Vatican. It describes a series of 112 Popes. Now the 112th Pope has been elected. Will the prophecy concerning him come true? Is he the final Pope?
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Father Funes says the universe is so vast that other life forms may exist

The Pope's chief astronomer says that life on Mars cannot be ruled out.

Writing in the Vatican newspaper, the astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes, said intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space.

Father Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory near Rome, is a respected scientist who collaborates with universities around the world.

The search for forms of extraterrestrial life, he says, does not contradict belief in God.

The official Vatican newspaper headlines his article 'Aliens Are My Brother'.

'Free from sin'

Just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist intelligent beings in outer space created by God. And some aliens could even be free from original sin, he speculates.

Asked about the Catholic Church's condemnation four centuries ago of the Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo, Father Funes diplomatically says mistakes were made, but it is time to turn the page and look towards the future.

Science and religion need each other, and many astronomers believe in God, he assures readers.

To strengthen its scientific credentials, the Vatican is organising a conference next year to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the author of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin.
By CBSNEWS /AP/ November 11, 2009, 9:30 AM

Vatican Considers Possibility of Aliens

E.T. phone Rome. Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church. "The questions of life's origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration," said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory. Funes, a Jesuit priest, presented the results Tuesday of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the budding field of astrobiology - the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos. Funes said the possibility of alien life raises "many philosophical and theological implications" but added that the gathering was mainly focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines can be used to explore the issue. Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, said it was appropriate that the Vatican would host such a meeting. "Both science and religion posit life as a special outcome of a vast and mostly inhospitable universe," he told a news conference Tuesday. "There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe." Thirty scientists, including non-Catholics, from the U.S., France, Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Chile attended the conference, called to explore among other issues "whether sentient life forms exist on other worlds." Funes set the stage for the conference a year ago when he discussed the possibility of alien life in an interview given prominence in the Vatican's daily newspaper. The Church of Rome's views have shifted radically through the centuries since Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600 for speculating, among other ideas, that other worlds could be inhabited. Scientists have discovered hundreds of planets outside our solar system - including 32 new ones announced recently by the European Space Agency. Impey said the discovery of alien life may be only a few years away. "If biology is not unique to the Earth, or life elsewhere differs bio-chemically from our version, or we ever make contact with an intelligent species in the vastness of space, the implications for our self-image will be profound," he said. This is not the first time the Vatican has explored the issue of extraterrestrials: In 2005, its observatory brought together top researchers in the field for similar discussions. In the interview last year, Funes told Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that believing the universe may host aliens, even intelligent ones, does not contradict a faith in God. "How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said in that interview. "Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God's creative freedom." Funes maintained that if intelligent beings were discovered, they would also be considered "part of creation." The Roman Catholic Church's relationship with science has come a long way since Galileo was tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant his finding that the Earth revolves around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe. Today top clergy, including Funes, openly endorse scientific ideas like the Big Bang theory as a reasonable explanation for the creation of the universe. The theory says the universe began billions of years ago in the explosion of a single, super-dense point that contained all matter. Earlier this year, the Vatican also sponsored a conference on evolution to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species." The event snubbed proponents of alternative theories, like creationism and intelligent design, which see a higher being rather than the undirected process of natural selection behind the evolution of species. Still, there are divisions on the issues within the Catholic Church and within other religions, with some favoring creationism or intelligent design that could make it difficult to accept the concept of alien life. Working with scientists to explore fundamental questions that are of interest to religion is in line with the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, who has made strengthening the relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy. Recent popes have been working to overcome the accusation that the church was hostile to science - a reputation grounded in the Galileo affair. In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared the ruling against the astronomer was an error resulting from "tragic mutual incomprehension." The Vatican Museums opened an exhibit last month marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first celestial observations. Tommaso Maccacaro, president of Italy's national institute of astrophysics, said at the exhibit's Oct. 13 opening that astronomy has had a major impact on the way we perceive ourselves. "It was astronomical observations that let us understand that Earth (and man) don't have a privileged position or role in the universe," he said. "I ask myself what tools will we use in the next 400 years, and I ask what revolutions of understanding they'll bring about, like resolving the mystery of our apparent cosmic solitude." The Vatican Observatory has also been at the forefront of efforts to bridge the gap between religion and science. Its scientist-clerics have generated top-notch research and its meteorite collection is considered one of the world's best. The observatory, founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, is based in Castel Gandolfo, a lakeside town in the hills outside Rome where the pope has his summer residence. It also conducts research at an observatory at the University of Arizona, in Tucson.AP

Vatican and Lucifer

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 There was another strange phone call today. Somebody was apparently just recently hurt by a misinformation which has been circulating on the web for two or three years. This calumny claims that the Vatican astronomers named some instrument or telescope "Lucifer". It is fairly clearly a typical case of degradation of information. The truth of the matter is that the Vatican Observatory is a member of the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) consortium, together with a number of other institutions from Europe and the USA. The MGIO comprises a large number of stake holders, most of whom have nothing to do with the Vatican Observatory or its telescope. How does this work? It is quite similar to share holders in a company. Supposing you had a six percent share in a company, while Mr XYZ had a four percent share. What could you do if Mr XYZ decided to name his pet hamster "Demon"? One of the stake holders in the MGIO is a group of European institutes who built an infrared camera and spectroscope, and named it "Lucifer". So what happened? First, somebody reported that an instrument called "Lucifer" was installed on Mt Graham. Then somebody remarked that Mt Graham also hosts the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, and that it is somewhat amusing that Mt Graham has both Vatican and Lucifer. Then the information somehow degraded and the slur was born: Vatican astronomers are supposedly friends with Lucifer... http://www.mpe.mpg.de/ir/lucifer (LUCIFER)

From: http://www.exovaticana.com/
Christians will not immediately need to renounce their faith in God “simply on the basis of the reception of [this] new, unexpected information of a religious character from extraterrestrial civilizations.” However, once the “religious content” originating from outside the earth “has been verified” they will have to conduct “a re-reading [of the Gospel] inclusive of the new data…” – Vatican Astronomer, Eminent Theologian and Full Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome [Connected With Opus Dei], Father Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti

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