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Thread: Who Are You To Judge?

  
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    Default Re: Who Are You To Judge?


    Who Is Deaf?

    Read:
    Isaiah 42:1-4, 23-25

    The Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.... [But] your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
    - Isaiah 59:1-2

    A man told his doctor that he thought his wife was going deaf. The doctor told him to conduct a simple test. When the man reached the front door of his home, he called out, "Darling, is dinner ready?" Hearing no response, he walked inside and repeated himself. Still no reply. On the third try, when he was just behind her, he finally heard her say, "For the third time, yes!"

    Similarly, the ancient Israelites thought God was deaf when the problem was actually with them. Isaiah was a prophet sent to warn God's people about impending judgment, but his message fell on deaf ears. Instead of being God's covenant people, who were to bring light to those in darkness and release them from the dungeons of sin (42:7), they refused to hear Him. "They would not walk in His ways, nor were they obedient to His law" (v.24).
    The prophet explained why their prayers seemed to fall on deaf ears: "The Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God" (Isa. 59:1-2). One reason for not receiving answers from God is that sin may be blocking our hearing. Let's examine ourselves carefully. Our God isn't hard of hearing.

    - C. P. Hia

    Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
    Naught of this world's delusive dream;
    I have renounced all sinful pleasure,
    Jesus is mine; there's nothing between.

    - Tindley

    God speaks through His Word
    to those who listen with their heart.

    ODB
    Lannguyen

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    Being Glad

    Read:
    Psalm 30

    This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24

    One of my favorite childhood books was Pollyanna, the story of the optimistic young girl who always found something to be glad abouteven when bad things happened.

    I was reminded recently of that literary friend when my real-life friend fell and broke her arm while riding her bicycle. Marianne told me how thankful she was that she was able to ride all the way back home and how grateful she was that she wouldn't need to have surgery. It was her left arm (she's right-handed), she said, so she would still be able to work. And wasn't it great, she marveled, that she has good bones, so her arm should heal fine! And wasn't it wonderful that it hadn't been any worse!
    Whew! Marianne is an example of someone who has learned to rejoice in spite of trouble. She has a confidence that God will care for herno matter what.

    Suffering eventually touches us all. And in times of difficulty, thankfulness is usually not our first response. But I think God looks at us with pleasure when we find reasons to be thankful (1 Thess. 5:16-18). As we realistically look for the good despite our bad circumstances, we can be grateful that God is holding us close. It is when we trust in His goodness that we find gladness.

    -Cindy Hess Kasper

    Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
    How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
    Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
    There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.

    -Cushing

    Thankfulness finds something good in every circumstance.

    ODB
    Lannguyen

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    Being Glad

    Read:
    Psalm 30

    This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24

    One of my favorite childhood books was Pollyanna, the story of the optimistic young girl who always found something to be glad abouteven when bad things happened.

    I was reminded recently of that literary friend when my real-life friend fell and broke her arm while riding her bicycle. Marianne told me how thankful she was that she was able to ride all the way back home and how grateful she was that she wouldn't need to have surgery. It was her left arm (she's right-handed), she said, so she would still be able to work. And wasn't it great, she marveled, that she has good bones, so her arm should heal fine! And wasn't it wonderful that it hadn't been any worse!
    Whew! Marianne is an example of someone who has learned to rejoice in spite of trouble. She has a confidence that God will care for herno matter what.

    Suffering eventually touches us all. And in times of difficulty, thankfulness is usually not our first response. But I think God looks at us with pleasure when we find reasons to be thankful (1 Thess. 5:16-18). As we realistically look for the good despite our bad circumstances, we can be grateful that God is holding us close. It is when we trust in His goodness that we find gladness.

    -Cindy Hess Kasper

    Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
    How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
    Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
    There I find comfort, and there I am blessed. -Cushing

    Thankfulness finds something good in every circumstance
    .
    Lannguyen

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    vivi00 (11-16-2014)

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    What does the Bible say about gambling?


    It says that you are “bettor off” not to. Actually, there is no verse that specifically addresses the subject of gambling (playing the Lottery), so how do we come to the conclusion that gambling is something that can become sin in one’s life? First of all, we had best define gambling. Gambling (playing the Lottery) is an activity, based on chance, in which one risks the loss of money or some other valuable in order to earn a reward.

    When the Word of God does not speak directly about something, we must then look for biblical principles that are applicable to determining whether it is right or wrong. Before we do that, however, it is important to understand why the Bible would not have a verse specifically condoning or forbidding gambling.
    Although we may not know all the reasons, one of them is that a large part of everything we do in life involves a “gamble,” a calculated risk. Let’s look at some common examples of the gambles in life. When a farmer puts a crop in early to get the advantage of early sales, he risks losing his investment to a Spring rain washout. When a person in business “gambles” money in an advertising campaign, he risks losing his investment.

    When a General takes a chance that an end-around maneuver will catch the enemy off guard, he is risking the lives of the men on that mission. When a person looks at some food that has been in the refrigerator long past the expiration date, does not want to waste it, and thinks, “It is probably okay,” he gambles that the food will not make him sick (or worse). Taking risks is an inherent part of life (Ecc. 11:6).

    Another reason that gambling is not mentioned specifically in the Bible is that there are times when it blends into entertainment in a manner that is neither harmful nor sinful. Everyone who has ever gone to a movie because “the advertisement looked good,” but then hated it and was sorry he spent money on it, has experienced that kind of gambling, or risk taking. If people are playing a game, and they all agree that “the loser buys dinner,” that is gambling, but usually not a sin. Many things that are not harmful in some circumstances, such as eating, sleeping, drinking wine or alcohol, or sex, are both sinful and harmful in other circumstances.

    It seems clear from the nature of life that gambling is sometimes a sin and sometimes not. Therefore, we should examine the Word of God for the biblical principles that would govern gambling. The overarching principle of life is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Also, Scripture tells us, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom” (Prov. 4:7). In contrast to these things, the vast majority of gambling today, in casinos, card games, horse racing, sporting events, or in the lottery, is not a demonstration of love for God, love for neighbor, or even just plain wisdom. Rather, it is based on greed and the idea that our money is ours to do with as we please. For Christians, the reality is that the resources we have are from God, and we are to steward them in service to Him.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of the people on earth do not live their lives as if they will be held accountable for what they do. This is pure foolishness, for the Bible tells us over and over that there is a coming Judgment, when we will be held accountable for what we do.
    2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV)

    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
    Many people have the attitude, “It is my money, and if I lose it gambling, so what?” However, it is not “my money.” Everything we have, including our very lives, belongs to God, and we are to use our time and possessions for His glory. Scripture says, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20). God expects us to honor Him in all we do, and He will hold us accountable if we do not live that way.

    Many people who think nothing of gambling $20 at the horse track in hopes of a big win have not considered how much that money would mean to a poor family in a third world country. Similarly, someone who takes just $5 from his paycheck every Friday to buy a lottery ticket “to win big,” demonstrates a profound lack of wisdom—the wisdom God says we are to hold supreme. Many people who do that die broke, but that same $5 per week, if invested over a 40-year work life (age 20-60) would be worth more than $55,000. Extend that just 5 years (age 20-65) and it would be worth more than $80,000 (7% Interest rate). Saving money systematically during our working years requires vision and discipline, and our country would be much better off if people would quit wasting their resources trying to get rich quick.

    Another problem with participating in organized gambling like at casinos or the racetrack is that it supports the gambling industry, which is responsible for ruining countless lives. Research shows that the social costs of gambling are huge, and many studies indicate that these costs are greater than whatever profits gamblers make. Anyone can go to a meeting of Gamblers Anonymous or Gam-Anon (for friends or family of addicted gamblers) and hear the stories of ruined lives, broken families, and failed businesses that always accompany the gambling industry. So if a Christian participates in organized gambling, he is not just involved with harmless fun or entertainment, because the lives of people we should love as we love ourselves are being badly hurt.

    In light of what the Word of God says about how we as Christians are to live our lives with a total commitment to God, we should ask ourselves if there is really any benefit to even a little social gambling. If we win, we have taken money from someone without giving him anything in return. If we lose, we waste money we could have used for a godly purpose.

    Scripture has a lot to say about money and wealth, and it is noteworthy that although gambling occurred in the biblical cultures, no godly man or woman is ever shown participating. Furthermore, though the Bible has many verses on gaining wealth, none mention gaining wealth by winning at gambling. The Christian will be better off in this life and the next if he avoids gambling and wisely invests his money and/or gives it to godly causes.
    Lannguyen

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    The Dangers of Success

    Read:
    Deuteronomy 8:6-18

    Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes.
    - Deuteronomy 8:11

    Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said that he learned to pray in a Siberian concentration camp because he had no other hope. Before his arrest, when things were going well, he seldom gave God a thought.
    Similarly, the Israelites learned the habit of depending on God in the Sinai wilderness where they had no choice; they needed His daily intervention just to eat and drink. But when they finally stood on the banks of the Jordan River, they awaited a more difficult test of faith. After they entered the land of plenty, would they soon forget God?

    The Israelites knew little about the seductions of other cultures, having spent their lives in the desert. Moses was more afraid of the coming prosperity than the rigors of the desert - the alluring sensuality, the exotic religions, the glittering wealth. The Israelites might put God behind them and credit themselves for their success (Deut. 8:11,17).

    Ironically, success makes it harder to depend on the Lord. The Israelites did prove less faithful after they moved into the Promised Land. Again and again they turned their hearts to other gods.
    Beware of the temptation that success brings. There is grave danger in getting what we want.

    - Philip Yancey

    I blindly ask for what I crave,
    With haughty heart and will so stout;
    He oft denies me what I seek,
    But gives me grace to do without. - Anon.

    There is no failure more disastrous than
    the success that leaves God out.
    Lannguyen

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    Remember me

    Concentrate on this Sentence

    'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'



    There comes a point in your life when you realize:

    Who matters,
    Who never did,
    Who won't anymore...
    And who always will.
    So, don't worry about people from your past,
    there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.

    Give these flowers to everyone you don't want to lose in 2009 if that's what is in your heart..
    Lannguyen

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    What Will You Write?

    Read:
    Psalm 90

    You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
    -James 4:14

    In January 2006, a mine explosion in rural West Virginia threatened the lives of 13 coal miners. Having grown up in that state, I was among the millions riveted to the news for the next few days. Tragically, all but one of the miners was found dead. To compound the pain of that loss, initial reports given to the families said that all but one had been found alive. When the grim news of the deaths came, the grief was compounded with anger—and a desire to blame someone for the whole gut-wrenching event.

    At one of the funerals, however, Rev. Wease Day asked the hurting to look in a different direction—within. During their last hours, some of the miners had written notes to their families, in some cases offering comfort and hope. In light of that, Pastor Day urged his congregation not to seek to fix blame. He instead challenged them to imagine what they would write in a farewell note if they had only hours to live.

    In some ways we are like those miners. We are trapped in a dark world and are facing physical death. How we live our lives as followers of Christ becomes our “note” to the world. James wrote that life is “a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (4:14). By God’s grace, what will you write with your life today?

    —Bill Crowder

    Lord and Savior, Christ divine,
    Reign within this heart of mine,
    May my witness ever be,
    Always, only, Lord for Thee. —Brandt

    A Christlike life is a message of hope to a searching world.

    ODB
    Lannguyen

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    Scattered Fruit

    Read:
    John 13:3-15

    Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. -1 Corinthians 11:1

    The story is told of a Christian serving in the armed forces who was home on furlough. He was rushing to catch his train when he ran into a fruit stand on the station platform, knocking most of the piled-up apples to the ground.

    The young boy who operated the stand tried to pick up his scattered fruit but was having difficulty. The apologetic serviceman put down his luggage and started collecting the apples. He polished each one with his handkerchief and put it back on the counter. So impressed was the boy that he asked gratefully, “Soldier, are you Jesus?” With a smile the soldier replied, “No, but I’m trying to be like Him.”

    Sometimes, as we hurry about our own responsibilities, we become too busy to care about other people. But we must remember that Jesus urges us to show kindness and concern for our fellow travelers. He set the example for us in John 13 by being a servant. We need to take the time to be helpful also.

    Would anyone ask of us, “Are you Jesus?” And could we honestly respond, “No, I’m not Jesus, but I’m trying to be like Him”? Christlike kindness can open the door for a heart-touching testimony.

    -Vernon Grounds

    Be like Jesus, this my song,
    In the home and in the throng;
    Be like Jesus, all day long!
    I would be like Jesus. -Rowe

    Nothing is more attractive than being like Jesus.
    ODB
    Lannguyen

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    ARE WE IN THE LAST DAYS? (27:55)

    Presented By David C. Pack, Publisher/Editor-In-Chief

    January 15, 2009

    As problems affecting humanity worsen—as the pressures and increasing demands of modern lifestyles shred the fabric of government, business and families—as society, like a condemned building, teeters on the brink of collapse—millions ask: What does the future hold? Is this the end of the world? What are the signs Christ spoke of pointing to His Return?


    http://www.realtruth.org/wtc_012_090116.html
    Lannguyen

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    U.S. STUDY: OLDER SCIENTISTS LESS LIKELY TO BELIEVE GOD EXISTS

    September 11, 2009

    While 83 percent of Americans say they believe in God and 12 percent believe in a “higher power,” 41 percent of U.S. scientists believe in neither, a study by the Pew Research Center revealed. And of U.S. scientists ages 65 and above, nearly half are either atheists or agnostics.

    “However, unlike the general population, younger scientists are more likely than older scientists to have a belief in God or a higher power,” the study said. “In addition, more chemists than those in other specialties say they believe in God.”
    “Scientists are also far more likely to identify religiously as unaffiliated than is the general public (48% vs. 17%) or as atheist (17% vs. 2%).”
    Despite the difference in religious beliefs between scientists and the American public, 84 percent of U.S. citizens believe science has had a positive effect on society and made life easier for most people. Nearly seven in 10 citizens—including those who disagree on the validity of evolution and other scientific topics, or are skeptical of scientific findings—highly regard scientists when compared to other professions. Only members of the military and teachers rate higher for contributing to society’s well-being.
    Lannguyen

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    INTERNET AGE: ARE WE LOSING OUR ABILITY TO READ AND THINK?

    By kevin d. denee
    January 08, 2009

    Popular newspapers report declining circulations, with readers turning to the Internet. How is this impacting society?

    Source: Getty Images

    Times are rapidly changing in the 21st century. Like never before in history, the entire world is connected. The global village has become the global home.

    Billions now have cellphones, which have brought the ability to talk and send text messages around the world. Even in less developed countries, this technology is widespread. These hand-held devices have advanced into the next generation: smart phones (in other words, phones that act like small computers). “Intuitive function,” flexibility and sleek design are the leading factors in these devices.

    Then there is the personal computer. A luxury item just a few decades ago, it is now a staple in almost every home of the Western world. People of all ages are learning how a computer works, and how it benefits them. Children, as young as a few years of age, find navigating a computer as natural as exploring a playground. Almost every office employee cannot function without one, with spreadsheets, word processors, emails, and so much more at their disposal.

    With these and other developing technologies, the Information Age has truly “come of age.”

    Newspapers Declining

    In December 2008, the Pew Research Center reported that the Internet surpassed newspapers as the source for national and international news among Americans. The report, “Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Source,” states, “Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the Internet, up from just 24% in September 2007. For the first time in a Pew survey, more people say they rely mostly on the Internet for news than cite newspapers (35%).”

    Dramatic increases for just one year!

    The 2008 statistics are even more telling for young adults, ages 18 to 29: “For young people, however, the Internet now rivals television as a main source of national and international news. Nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (59%) say they get most of their national and international news online; an identical percentage cites television. In September 2007, twice as many young people said they relied mostly on television for news than mentioned the Internet (68% vs. 34%)” (ibid.).

    Hardcopy newspapers and news magazines are becoming less popular. This can also be seen by looking at the significant and sometimes dramatic changes certain news companies have made over the past couple of years. Circulations of almost every newspaper across the country are declining.

    In 2008, two longtime, well-known publications, The Christian Science Monitor and U.S. News & World Report, decided to abandon print and make their publications online only. This would have been unheard of just a decade ago.

    In April of that year, Forbes magazine reported that, among 530 U.S. newspapers, circulation fell by 3.57% over 2007. The New York Times, one of the largest papers in the country, experienced a significant slide. Some of the other big decreases were The Boston Globe, The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., The Star Tribune of Minneapolis and The Detroit Free Press.

    Months later, the trend continued, according to Agence France-Presse: “Circulation dropped sharply at most major US newspapers in the six months ending in September, continuing a slide which has led to cutbacks in newsrooms across the United States, according to figures released Monday.

    “The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), citing preliminary figures subject to audit, said circulation for 507 daily newspapers fell 4.64 percent in the period to 38.16 million copies from 40.02 million in the same period last year” (“US newspaper circulation drops again”).
    In December 2008, the Associated Press reported on a large American city and its news industry: “Newspapers are desperately seeking new business models that will help them survive dwindling readership and a deep advertising slump exacerbated by the recession.
    “The latest are The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, which said Monday they will announce ‘a sweeping set of strategic and innovative changes’ on Tuesday.

    “The Detroit Media Partnership, which runs the business operations of the papers, said the changes are ‘designed to better meet advertiser and reader needs in an era in which digital delivery is revolutionizing how people get information.’”
    Digital delivery is truly revolutionizing how we get our information.
    For the foreseeable future, there will always be a certain demographic that will desire a print newspaper or magazine. But the question of newspaper survival would not have been considered years ago.

    Today, it is safe to say that some will not survive.

    21st-Century Source

    In this “revolution” of information delivery, what is happening? In short, the reader is turning to the Internet, which itself is becoming more accessible. The availability of high-speed Internet access is a priority for many Western governments. Several countries already have high penetration rates. Many cellphones now provide access to the Internet, such as receiving a breaking news story.

    Since 2000, the size of the Internet has more than tripled—and the trend shows no signs of slowing. As of January 2008, it hosted nearly 1.4 billion users, most from Western nations. At the time of this writing, there are an estimated 100 million more Internet users.
    Most assume that “surfing the web” is something done only by younger generations, but the average age is actually increasing.

    Notice some excerpts from an article in the Daily Mail, titled “Silver surfers beat the young as Web wizards”: “Pensioners surfing the Internet are spending more time online than their younger counterparts.
    “So-called ‘silver surfers’ dedicate an average of 42 hours a month to the World Wide Web, compared with 37.9 hours among 18- to 24-year-olds.
    “A greater interest in hobbies, news and local issues among the elderly is believed to be driving the trend, which sees over-65s account for nine per cent of all time spent online in the UK.”
    “And the trend is likely to continue for decades to come, with over-50s now accounting for a quarter of all UK Internet users.”
    These are stunning statistics! Many who are middle-aged have either learned computer skills on their own or been forced to learn because of job demands.

    Profiles of Internet Users

    What is the behavior of the average Internet user? When one goes online, what is his experience?

    First, let’s discuss the concept of “surfing the web.” The computer user opens the browser (the software that accesses the world wide web). Within seconds, the homepage loads and something grabs the user’s attention. He clicks. He begins to read a story or view a video on the page.

    Then, 30 seconds later, he remembers he wanted to search for something. He takes his mouse, clicks on the search bar, and types in a couple of words. The search engine returns—in 0.17 seconds—with answers. The individual quickly finds the link he is looking for. He clicks. Then he realizes it is a PDF (a universal file format that preserves the fonts, images, graphics and layout of any source document, regardless of the application and platform used to create it) and does not want to wait. So he hits the back button.
    Slightly frustrated, the user opens an additional tab and loads a music station. Now two websites compete for his attention: He opens a third tab to read the daily news while listening to music (second tab) and doing research (first tab). After visiting scores of websites, the session ends.

    Does this sound familiar?

    Statistics reveal that people bounce from website to website, clicking from one link to another, quickly becoming distracted by other links. Few web users are willing to give their undivided attention to a website or article for more than a couple of minutes.

    Take, for example, the second part of a news article, which would include another click of the mouse. The 21st-century user would say, “If you can’t get me the information I need within the first couple of clicks, I’m leaving. This is not worth my time.”

    The company eMarketer, which monitors Internet behavior and statistics, published the following in its report “What’s Competing for Internet Users’ Attention? The answer: A lot”: “Getting consumers’ undivided attention gets harder all the time. Much like drivers who listen to music, talk on the phone, apply makeup and eat at the same time, Internet users in the US conduct a wide array of activities while online.

    “Nearly six out of 10 respondents to a GfK Roper survey fielded in September and October 2008 said they listened to music or talked on the phone while using the Internet.”
    Where will this multitasking behavior lead?

    It is not just the Internet itself causing this shift in our behavior. It is modern technology—computers, phones, software, etc.

    Take for example the structure of a computer and its software. They are designed to do several things at the same time. Email, documents, spreadsheets, digital photo albums and music players are all open at once. As soon as a person’s attention wanes, even for the briefest second, half a dozen other programs clamor for his attention.
    In the name of efficiency, human beings are losing their ability to set aside hours to simply read without distraction.

    Then there is spelling and grammar. Word processors immediately fix misspelled words or grammatical errors. Search engines are programmed to anticipate what you are attempting to spell and then offer you the correct spelling.

    Basic activities of human behavior that were cherished decades ago seem to be slipping from our grasp in this modern age.

    Imagine that you are a farmer, living 100 years ago. Sitting behind a team of horses, you plow fields—you have time to think! You are not distracted by televisions, portable radios, computers or cellphones. No one had yet heard of these devices. Until the last century, no one ever spent one minute in front of a television, computer or stereo. Teenagers did not constantly talk to each other on cellphones, with nothing constructive or important to say.
    In the past, people read and thought much more. Try reading what are called “period letters”—letters written 150 years ago or longer. Also read letters exchanged during the American Civil War between President Abraham Lincoln and his generals. These were highly educated men, whose use of English grammar vastly exceeded today’s standards. People had time to mentally digest—to think and analyze.

    No longer!
    The Impact

    Nicholas Carr wrote an article in The Atlantic magazine that perhaps best summarizes what the Internet is doing to its users: “Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

    “I think I know what’s going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely as not to be foraging in the Web’s info-thickets’ reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link.”

    “For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind…And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski” (emphasis ours).
    The last sentence is possibly the best analogy to explain how people read online. Mr. Carr goes on to explain that “the result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.”
    He also quotes playwright Richard Foreman, who said, “We are the pancake people…spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information access by the mere touch of a button.”

    No Time to Think

    Here is another illustration that shows there is an incessant demand for our attention. Today’s sports experience is all about entertainment and keeping the audience’s attention.
    At a typical NBA basketball game, for instance, bands of video screens circle the arena, with constantly changing images and bright flashes of white or yellow transforming the color of the stands. A four-directional mega-screen hangs above the court showing onlookers close-ups and replays of basketball moves. Following almost every play are mindless video clips that provide “commentary,” much to the delight of fans. During time outs, administrators rush to create even more entertainment. Hip-hop dancers take to the floor and gyrate to the latest hits, and cheerleaders dance as suggestively as possible, and in what is promoted as a “family atmosphere.” At other times, the master of ceremonies incites the audience to scream louder and louder.
    And on it goes. So different from a sporting experience of 100 years ago. This is just one example of the tremendous demands for our attention.

    Take Time to Read and Think

    In the end, it should not be a surprise that so many cannot make it through three or four paragraphs before turning their attention to something else. What will be the long-term effects of such social behavior? What will happen to the children and teenagers of today who have even fewer occasions to read and think? Will a large enough foundation be built for our children to make correct decisions? What about your future?
    Set aside time to think and read. You will be investing in your future. Ask yourself: When is the last time you have sat down for an hour or two and read the Bible, the most important book of all time? Do you find it hard to concentrate? When is the last time you turned off all electronics and simply thought of your goals and plans in life?
    Lannguyen

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    Default Re: Who Are You To Judge?

    Cancer - a horrible destructive strange cell

    Going along for years in remission and then one day it pops its head up again.
    If you ever have it, you will never be free of it. Pray for the day there will be a permanent cure.

    A SMALL REQUEST...

    93% won't forward, but I'm Sure You Will........

    A small request.....Just one line

    Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer.
    Amen




    All you are asked to do is keep this circulating.
    Even if it's only to one more person.
    In memory of anyone you know who has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.

    A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle..
    Please Keep This Candle Going

    Lannguyen

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    Default Re: Who Are You To Judge?

    INTERNET AGE: ARE WE LOSING OUR ABILITY TO READ AND THINK?

    By kevin d. denee
    January 08, 2009

    Popular newspapers report declining circulations, with readers turning to the Internet. How is this impacting society?

    Source: Getty Images

    Times are rapidly changing in the 21st century. Like never before in history, the entire world is connected. The global village has become the global home.

    Billions now have cellphones, which have brought the ability to talk and send text messages around the world. Even in less developed countries, this technology is widespread. These hand-held devices have advanced into the next generation: smart phones (in other words, phones that act like small computers). “Intuitive function,” flexibility and sleek design are the leading factors in these devices.

    Then there is the personal computer. A luxury item just a few decades ago, it is now a staple in almost every home of the Western world. People of all ages are learning how a computer works, and how it benefits them. Children, as young as a few years of age, find navigating a computer as natural as exploring a playground. Almost every office employee cannot function without one, with spreadsheets, word processors, emails, and so much more at their disposal.

    With these and other developing technologies, the Information Age has truly “come of age.”

    Newspapers Declining

    In December 2008, the Pew Research Center reported that the Internet surpassed newspapers as the source for national and international news among Americans. The report, “Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Source,” states, “Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the Internet, up from just 24% in September 2007. For the first time in a Pew survey, more people say they rely mostly on the Internet for news than cite newspapers (35%).”

    Dramatic increases for just one year!

    The 2008 statistics are even more telling for young adults, ages 18 to 29: “For young people, however, the Internet now rivals television as a main source of national and international news. Nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (59%) say they get most of their national and international news online; an identical percentage cites television. In September 2007, twice as many young people said they relied mostly on television for news than mentioned the Internet (68% vs. 34%)” (ibid.).

    Hardcopy newspapers and news magazines are becoming less popular. This can also be seen by looking at the significant and sometimes dramatic changes certain news companies have made over the past couple of years. Circulations of almost every newspaper across the country are declining.

    In 2008, two longtime, well-known publications, The Christian Science Monitor and U.S. News & World Report, decided to abandon print and make their publications online only. This would have been unheard of just a decade ago.

    In April of that year, Forbes magazine reported that, among 530 U.S. newspapers, circulation fell by 3.57% over 2007. The New York Times, one of the largest papers in the country, experienced a significant slide. Some of the other big decreases were The Boston Globe, The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., The Star Tribune of Minneapolis and The Detroit Free Press.

    Months later, the trend continued, according to Agence France-Presse: “Circulation dropped sharply at most major US newspapers in the six months ending in September, continuing a slide which has led to cutbacks in newsrooms across the United States, according to figures released Monday.

    “The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), citing preliminary figures subject to audit, said circulation for 507 daily newspapers fell 4.64 percent in the period to 38.16 million copies from 40.02 million in the same period last year” (“US newspaper circulation drops again”).
    In December 2008, the Associated Press reported on a large American city and its news industry: “Newspapers are desperately seeking new business models that will help them survive dwindling readership and a deep advertising slump exacerbated by the recession.
    “The latest are The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, which said Monday they will announce ‘a sweeping set of strategic and innovative changes’ on Tuesday.

    “The Detroit Media Partnership, which runs the business operations of the papers, said the changes are ‘designed to better meet advertiser and reader needs in an era in which digital delivery is revolutionizing how people get information.’”
    Digital delivery is truly revolutionizing how we get our information.
    For the foreseeable future, there will always be a certain demographic that will desire a print newspaper or magazine. But the question of newspaper survival would not have been considered years ago.
    Lannguyen

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    Default Re: Who Are You To Judge?

    INTERNET AGE: ARE WE LOSING OUR ABILITY TO READ AND THINK?[2]

    Today, it is safe to say that some will not survive.

    21st-Century Source

    In this “revolution” of information delivery, what is happening? In short, the reader is turning to the Internet, which itself is becoming more accessible. The availability of high-speed Internet access is a priority for many Western governments. Several countries already have high penetration rates. Many cellphones now provide access to the Internet, such as receiving a breaking news story.

    Since 2000, the size of the Internet has more than tripled—and the trend shows no signs of slowing. As of January 2008, it hosted nearly 1.4 billion users, most from Western nations. At the time of this writing, there are an estimated 100 million more Internet users.
    Most assume that “surfing the web” is something done only by younger generations, but the average age is actually increasing.

    Notice some excerpts from an article in the Daily Mail, titled “Silver surfers beat the young as Web wizards”: “Pensioners surfing the Internet are spending more time online than their younger counterparts.
    “So-called ‘silver surfers’ dedicate an average of 42 hours a month to the World Wide Web, compared with 37.9 hours among 18- to 24-year-olds.
    “A greater interest in hobbies, news and local issues among the elderly is believed to be driving the trend, which sees over-65s account for nine per cent of all time spent online in the UK.”
    “And the trend is likely to continue for decades to come, with over-50s now accounting for a quarter of all UK Internet users.”
    These are stunning statistics! Many who are middle-aged have either learned computer skills on their own or been forced to learn because of job demands.

    Profiles of Internet Users

    What is the behavior of the average Internet user? When one goes online, what is his experience?

    First, let’s discuss the concept of “surfing the web.” The computer user opens the browser (the software that accesses the world wide web). Within seconds, the homepage loads and something grabs the user’s attention. He clicks. He begins to read a story or view a video on the page.

    Then, 30 seconds later, he remembers he wanted to search for something. He takes his mouse, clicks on the search bar, and types in a couple of words. The search engine returns—in 0.17 seconds—with answers. The individual quickly finds the link he is looking for. He clicks. Then he realizes it is a PDF (a universal file format that preserves the fonts, images, graphics and layout of any source document, regardless of the application and platform used to create it) and does not want to wait. So he hits the back button.
    Slightly frustrated, the user opens an additional tab and loads a music station. Now two websites compete for his attention: He opens a third tab to read the daily news while listening to music (second tab) and doing research (first tab). After visiting scores of websites, the session ends.

    Does this sound familiar?

    Statistics reveal that people bounce from website to website, clicking from one link to another, quickly becoming distracted by other links. Few web users are willing to give their undivided attention to a website or article for more than a couple of minutes.

    Take, for example, the second part of a news article, which would include another click of the mouse. The 21st-century user would say, “If you can’t get me the information I need within the first couple of clicks, I’m leaving. This is not worth my time.”

    The company eMarketer, which monitors Internet behavior and statistics, published the following in its report “What’s Competing for Internet Users’ Attention? The answer: A lot”: “Getting consumers’ undivided attention gets harder all the time. Much like drivers who listen to music, talk on the phone, apply makeup and eat at the same time, Internet users in the US conduct a wide array of activities while online.

    “Nearly six out of 10 respondents to a GfK Roper survey fielded in September and October 2008 said they listened to music or talked on the phone while using the Internet.”
    Where will this multitasking behavior lead?

    It is not just the Internet itself causing this shift in our behavior. It is modern technology—computers, phones, software, etc.

    Take for example the structure of a computer and its software. They are designed to do several things at the same time. Email, documents, spreadsheets, digital photo albums and music players are all open at once. As soon as a person’s attention wanes, even for the briefest second, half a dozen other programs clamor for his attention.
    In the name of efficiency, human beings are losing their ability to set aside hours to simply read without distraction.

    Then there is spelling and grammar. Word processors immediately fix misspelled words or grammatical errors. Search engines are programmed to anticipate what you are attempting to spell and then offer you the correct spelling.

    Basic activities of human behavior that were cherished decades ago seem to be slipping from our grasp in this modern age.

    Imagine that you are a farmer, living 100 years ago. Sitting behind a team of horses, you plow fields—you have time to think! You are not distracted by televisions, portable radios, computers or cellphones. No one had yet heard of these devices. Until the last century, no one ever spent one minute in front of a television, computer or stereo. Teenagers did not constantly talk to each other on cellphones, with nothing constructive or important to say.
    In the past, people read and thought much more. Try reading what are called “period letters”—letters written 150 years ago or longer. Also read letters exchanged during the American Civil War between President Abraham Lincoln and his generals. These were highly educated men, whose use of English grammar vastly exceeded today’s standards. People had time to mentally digest—to think and analyze.

    No longer!
    The Impact

    Nicholas Carr wrote an article in The Atlantic magazine that perhaps best summarizes what the Internet is doing to its users: “Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

    “I think I know what’s going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely as not to be foraging in the Web’s info-thickets’ reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link.”

    “For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind…And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski” (emphasis ours).
    The last sentence is possibly the best analogy to explain how people read online. Mr. Carr goes on to explain that “the result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.”
    He also quotes playwright Richard Foreman, who said, “We are the pancake people…spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information access by the mere touch of a button.”

    No Time to Think

    Here is another illustration that shows there is an incessant demand for our attention. Today’s sports experience is all about entertainment and keeping the audience’s attention.
    At a typical NBA basketball game, for instance, bands of video screens circle the arena, with constantly changing images and bright flashes of white or yellow transforming the color of the stands. A four-directional mega-screen hangs above the court showing onlookers close-ups and replays of basketball moves. Following almost every play are mindless video clips that provide “commentary,” much to the delight of fans. During time outs, administrators rush to create even more entertainment. Hip-hop dancers take to the floor and gyrate to the latest hits, and cheerleaders dance as suggestively as possible, and in what is promoted as a “family atmosphere.” At other times, the master of ceremonies incites the audience to scream louder and louder.
    And on it goes. So different from a sporting experience of 100 years ago. This is just one example of the tremendous demands for our attention.

    Take Time to Read and Think

    In the end, it should not be a surprise that so many cannot make it through three or four paragraphs before turning their attention to something else. What will be the long-term effects of such social behavior? What will happen to the children and teenagers of today who have even fewer occasions to read and think? Will a large enough foundation be built for our children to make correct decisions? What about your future?

    Set aside time to think and read. You will be investing in your future. Ask yourself: When is the last time you have sat down for an hour or two and read the Bible, the most important book of all time? Do you find it hard to concentrate? When is the last time you turned off all electronics and simply thought of your goals and plans in life?
    Lannguyen

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    Default Re: Who Are You To Judge?

    Why does God want us to meditate on His Word?

    “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success” (Josh. 1:8). God wants His people to prosper and be successful. The only way to prosper and succeed is to follow His direction.

    We receive our strength, guidance and salvation from God. David understood this: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psa. 19:14). “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (139:23-24).

    Without the Holy Spirit dwelling in a person, helping him to meditate on God’s Word, he cannot begin to understand the way God thinks or why He does what He does!
    Believe it or not, our natural minds are actually hostile toward God! “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).

    This is why He tells us to forsake our own way, the way to death! “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:7-9).

    The Christian must develop a new, different mind—a different attitude—in order to please God. The only way to do this is with the help of the Holy Spirit. Without that new mind, our hearts will naturally pursue covetousness. Paul instructs, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). Again, in I Corinthians 2:16: “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that He may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
    Lannguyen

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    Default Re: Who Are You To Judge?

    A Handful Of Thorns

    Read:
    Psalm 105:1-5

    Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! - Psalm 107:21

    Jeremy Taylor was a 17th-century English cleric who was severely persecuted for his faith. But though his house was plundered, his family left destitute, and his property confiscated, he continued to count the blessings he could not lose.

    He wrote: "They have not taken away my merry countenance, my cheerful spirit, and a good conscience; they have still left me with the providence of God, and all His promises . . . my hopes of Heaven, and my charity to them, too, and still I sleep and digest, I eat and drink, I read and meditate. And he that hath so many causes of joy, and so great should never choose to sit down upon his little handful of thorns."

    Although we may not be afflicted with the grievous difficulties that Jeremy Taylor endured, all of us face trials and troubles. Are we grumbling? Or do we refuse to let our "little handful of thorns," our troubles, obscure the overwhelming abundance of our blessings?
    When we feel like complaining, let's remember God's faithfulness and "give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! . . . Remember His marvelous works which He has done!" (Ps. 105:1,5).

    - Vernon Grounds

    When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
    When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost;
    Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
    And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. - Oatman

    Spend your time counting your blessings,
    not airing your complaints.

    ODB
    Lannguyen

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    Looks Can Be Deceiving

    Read:
    Matthew 15:1-11

    These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. - Matthew 15:8

    On June 22, 2002, a 33-year-old pitching star for the St. Louis Cardinals was found dead in his Chicago hotel room. He was young, physically active, and appeared to be in good health. However, the autopsy revealed that he had a 90-percent blockage in two of three coronary arteries, an enlarged heart, and a blood clot in one of the arteries. His appearance misled many to think that he was physically healthy.

    Jesus said that appearances can deceive people into thinking that they are spiritually healthy. After the Pharisees accused Him and His followers of breaking religious traditions by not washing their hands before they ate, Jesus said that the Pharisees had laid aside commands of God for man-made, religious traditions. He reminded them that kingdom righteousness was not an outside-in job but an inside-out, transforming work of God. Jesus said that they looked impressive spiritually, but their hearts were diseased and distant: "[They] honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me" (Matt. 15:8). Their talk never matched their walk, thus producing the illegitimate child of hypocrisy.
    Spiritual health is not determined by how we look, but by how we live. Let's ask God to search us, know our hearts, test us, and lead us in His way (Ps. 139:23-24).

    - Marvin Williams

    Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
    Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
    See if there be some wicked way in me;
    Cleanse me from every sin and set me free. - Orr

    As we talk the talk,
    let's make sure we walk the walk.
    Lannguyen

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    A Timely Word

    Read:
    Ephesians 4:17-32

    A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
    - Proverbs 15:23

    In Liverpool, England, on the eve of the 2006 British Open Championship, professional golfer Graeme McDowell was in trouble. The next day he was going into the tournament clueless about what was causing his struggles on the course.

    While he was out for the evening, Mc Dowell got a surprise. A stranger, who was an avid golf fan, recognized him and commented that he had noticed a flaw in his swing. The next day, Graeme tested that advice on the driving range, and to his great shock he discovered that the fan had been correct. Satisfied with the value of the change, Graeme implemented the suggestion and finished the first day of the British Open in first place! All because a stranger took time to speak a word of help.

    Words are like that. They are powerful instruments for good or for ill. We can use words in destructive ways, or we can use words to build and encourage. This must be what Solomon had in mind when he said, "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!" (Prov. 15:23).

    In a world where words are often wielded as weapons, may we use our words as tools to build up the hearts of others.

    - Bill Crowder

    Keep my tongue, Lord, bridled well,
    Words of truth, oh, may I tell;
    Take my heart, its wellspring deep,
    Cleanse and purify and keep. - Bosch

    Gentle words are more powerful than angry words.
    Lannguyen

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    Default Re: Who Are You To Judge?

    You are so blessed!


    If you woke up this morning
    with more health than illness,
    you are more blessed than the
    million who won't survive the week.


    If you have never experienced
    the danger of battle,
    the loneliness of imprisonment,
    the agony of torture or
    the pangs of starvation,
    you are ahead of 20 million people
    around the world.


    If you attend a church meeting
    without fear of harassment,
    arrest, torture, or death,
    you are more blessed than almost
    three billion people in the world.


    If you have food in your refrigerator,
    clothes on your back, a roof over
    your head and a place to sleep,
    you are richer than 75% of this world.



    If you have money in the bank,
    in your wallet, and spare change
    in a dish someplace, you are among
    the top 8% of the world's wealthy.



    If your parents are still married and alive,
    you are very rare,
    especially in the United States.



    If you hold up your head with a smile|
    on your face and are truly thankful,
    you are blessed because the majority can,
    but most do not.



    If you can hold someone's hand, hug them
    or even touch them on the shoulder,
    you are blessed because you can
    offer God's healing touch.



    If you can read this message,
    you are more blessed than over
    two billion people in the world
    that cannot read anything at all.

    You are so blessed in ways
    you may never even know.



    Blessing To You!
    Lannguyen

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