Monday, April 27, 2009

by Kathryn Jean Lopez
That Time magazine would consider covering a doctor who has advocated the right of troubled teenagers to kill themselves should set off all sorts of alarm bells. If we don't question the issue of assisted suicide and its seeming acceptance as an almost casual reality by the media, we're going to realize quickly that we have moved way beyond debating extraordinary care and the legality of assisted suicide in terminal cases.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quotes From Our Founding Fathers

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.

George Washington's Farewell Address

How Can We Be More Content?

By Julie-Ann Lattimer-Wesleyan Life Magazine

…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands… (1 Thess. 4:11).

  • Don’t compare yourself to others. If you do, look at those less fortunate and you’ll be thankful for what you have.
  • Take a walk and look at nature. It’s God creation, not man’s. We can see His plan and control of this earth through the beauty and balance of nature.
  • Read a book about India, Haiti or another third-world country. What we label bare necessities are unattainable luxuries to these people.
  • When feeling shut-in, get out. Go to the library or a museum, not the mall.
  • When feeling down about your job, think of those unemployed. If you’re exhausted or feeling over-worked, kick off your shoes and relax. Be thankful you’re tired from a hard day’s work instead of boredom.
  • Dissatisfied with your looks? Gramma always said, “Beauty is a clean face, shiny hair, and a pure heart.” Anyone can have it.
  • Do something thoughtful for someone. Thinking of others keeps our minds off ourselves.
  • Focus on what is good in your life and rely on God to supply all your needs, not your wants.
  • Enjoy the freebies in life: flowers, sunsets, love, family, friends and Christ’s salvation.
  • Meditate on heaven and eternity. Our present situation is temporary.

Contentment is not boredom or lack of ambition. It is an acceptance. Being content does not depend on circumstances. With God’s help, may we say, as the apostle Paul did, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil. 4:11).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spurgeon's Daily Reading
Romans 8:37

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

We go to Christ for forgiveness, and then too often look to the law for power to fight our sins. Paul thus rebukes us, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Take your sins to Christ's cross, for the old man can only be crucified there: we are crucified with Him. The only weapon to fight sin with is the spear which pierced the side of Jesus. To give an illustration--you want to overcome an angry temper, how do you go to work? It is very possible you have never tried the right way of going to Jesus with it. How did I get salvation? I came to Jesus just as I was, and I trusted Him to save me. I must kill my angry temper in the same way? It is the only way in which I can ever kill it. I must go to the cross with it, and say to Jesus, "Lord, I trust Thee to deliver me from it." This is the only way to give it a death-blow. Are you covetous? Do you feel the world entangle you? You may struggle against this evil so long as you please, but if it be your besetting sin, you will never be delivered from it in any way but by the blood of Jesus. Take it to Christ. Tell Him, "Lord, I have trusted Thee, and Thy name is Jesus, for Thou dost save Thy people from their sins; Lord, this is one of my sins; save me from it!" Ordinances are nothing without Christ as a means of mortification. Your prayers, and your repentances, and your tears--the whole of them put together--are worth nothing apart from Him. "None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good;" or helpless saints either. You must be conquerors through Him who hath loved you, if conquerors at all. Our laurels must grow among His olives in Gethsemane.

Quotes From Our Founding Fathers

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.

Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Camp Meeting Schedule

Chandler Interdenominational Holiness Camp Association 2009 Spring Camp Meeting Thursday April 23-Sunday April 26
  • Four Evenings
  • Four Churches
  • Four Pastors
  • Four Sermons
Thursday, April 23, 7:00PM Chandler Church of the Nazarene
205 N. 4th Street
Chandler,IN 47610
Speaking:Rev. Dan Edwards of Faith Free Will Baptist Church

Friday, April 24, 7:00PM Newburgh Church of the Nazarene
11 Gray Street
Newburgh, IN 47630
Speaking: Rev. Ed Ames of Boonville Wesleyan Church

Saturday, April 25, 7:00PM Boonville Wesleyan Church
509 East Walnut St.
Boonville, IN 47601
Speaking: Rev. Kenton Daugherty of Chandler Church of the Nazarene

Sunday, April 26, 6:00PM Faith Free Will Baptist Church
303 N. 5th St.
Chandler, IN 47610
Speaking: Rev. Dennis King of Newburgh Church of the Nazarene

"For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life" 1 Thessalonians 4:7 The Holy Bible (NIV)

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Guest Sermon-"Pleasure Does Not Equal Happiness"

Rev. Robert D. Shofner, Jr.

St.John's UCC Boonville

We’re in a teaching series on how to live a better life … a look at when the “good” life isn’t good enough … that’s there’s something a whole lot better out there. And today we’re going to discuss “pleasure.” Pleasure.

I hope we’ve learned by now that it’s quite possible to fill our lives with pleasure, but still have a life that’s devoid of happiness. Now, when you think that I’m going to start bashing pleasure … I want to proclaim to you …. I’m all for pleasure. As a matter of fact, I like pleasure. Pleasure is one of God’s good gifts. He intends for us to enjoy pleasure when it’s in the proper place. But pleasure, like all of God’s good gifts, can be abused and misused and destructive.

As we go through life the things that bring pleasure to our lives change. Have we noticed that? What brings pleasure to a baby is different from what brings pleasure to an adult.

At the baby stage in life, we would expect to find pleasure in a clean diaper and a warm bottle.

At the child stage … maybe a new skate board, or new Superman costume. For me, it was a Roy Rogers gun belt with a pair of matching six-shooters.

As a teenager it might be having a pimple-free day, a date for the Prom, or a cool pair of black Converse high-tops.

As an old man it might be the pleasure of wearing dress black socks and wingtips with madras shorts and a green polyester leisure style sport coat.

There are a lot of simple pleasures in life … a cup of hot coffee or tea; being retired and not having to wake up to an alarm clock; bowling a perfect game on the Wii; falling asleep in front in the TV. “Whiskers on kittens and raindrops on roses; brown paper packages tied up with string. These are a few of my favorite things.” Simple things; good things. Pleasurable things.

We can experience pleasure all through life. The problem is when we live only for pleasure we find our lives ultimately unsatisfied. Unfortunately, the voices of those around us communicate the message that we are to pursue pleasure at any price. Pleasure at any cost. That’s the voice of the world. But what does the Bible have to say to us about pleasure? That’s what we want to look at this morning. We’ll find that there’s a stark contrast between pleasure and what the Bible calls “true happiness.”

First, we want to break the connection between temporary pleasure and lasting happiness. Between temporary pleasure and lasting happiness. We often think those two things are tied together; when we want happiness, we have to have pleasure. But the Bible tells us that thinking is faulty. Hebrews 11:24-25 tells us; “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin …”

Let’s notice some key words. First, notice “by faith.” What does that mean? The Bible says we’re saved by faith. The Bible says we’re supposed to live by faith. The Bible says when we have faith, it pleases God. But what is faith? Simply put, faith is hanging our whole life and our whole future on Jesus Christ. Faith is believing so much that Jesus is the Son of God that we are willing to follow Him with our life, giving meaning and purpose to our existence. Faith is believing so much that Jesus is who He says He is, our Lord and Savior, that we are betting our eternity that He will deliver on His promise to give us a home in heaven. The Bible says that Moses lived by faith, giving his whole life trying to do whatever God asked him to do. And the Bible tells us that God was greatly pleased by that.

Now, let’s look at the word “enjoy.” We’ll hardly ever hear the word “joy” connected to the word “sin.” When we think about “sin” or “sinners” we usually think of people who are miserable all the time. The Bible teaches clearly that it’s possible to enjoy sinning. In fact, if sin wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t do it! But, know what? Pleasure ends. Pleasure will come to an end. Living for sheer pleasure, pleasure at any price, is like jumping off a tall building. The first 95% is sheer thrill … but that last 5% … that’s gonna get ya! Like the famous last words of a redneck. “Watch this, Bubba!”

How many here this morning can say, “You’re right. It became my dual aim in life to avoid pain and find pleasure at almost any cost. And just like you said, the ending was abrupt, and the pain was very real.” There are many examples of this in the Bible. The Prodigal Son comes to mind. Then there’s the guy who’s personal motto was “Eat, drink and be merry.” The very next day, that guy died. And God called him a fool, because he gave no thought to his eternal state.

Think about it like this. Sin is fun on credit. Ever charge your whole vacation on your credit card? It was great, wasn’t it? No pain. Just shove over that little plastic card and off we go! Doesn’t feel like it cost anything. Then, 30 days later, the bill comes. But we say, “Well, it still was the best vacation ever!” And we pay a little bit on the bill, and think, “It was still worth it.” But 30 days later, it comes again. So we pay a little bit more, and still convince ourselves it was worth it. But 30 days later, it comes again. And 30 days later, it comes again! And finally we realize, “Hey, that vacation was fun, but the pleasure was only temporary, and the cost goes on forever!”

That’s why we want to pay attention to that phrase in our passage: “the passing pleasure of sin.” Here’s the truth: even positive pleasure is temporary. Think about this. What’s the best meal we ever had? How long was it before we were hungry again? What’s the best night’s sleep we ever had? How long was it before we were tired again? How long will the pleasure of that next purchase last, that next gadget, that next suit of clothes, that next plunge into debt, that next pull from the bottle, that next high from the needle, that next moment of pleasure? Pleasure does not last. That’s why making pleasure the focus of our lives is stupid. It leaves us empty. We’re always wanting more and more. And we all know this. 1 Timothy 5:6 says; “[The one] who lives for pleasure is dead even while [he] lives.”

Number 2 – break the connection between what you do and who you are. Between what we do and who we are. Pleasure is found in what we do. Happiness is found in who we are.

Solomon, King David’s son, and the wisest king of all time in his own right; wrote a book called Ecclesiastes. It was our scripture reading for this morning. In that passage he listed all the things he did in search of pleasure. He built and he planted. He made, he bought, he amassed. His pleasure came from “doing.” And we get caught up in the same trap. We think if we can just do more, we’ll have more pleasure. And we will find pleasure … but we will not find deep happiness and satisfaction. Why can’t we experience what the old timers called “the simple pleasures of life”? Why can’t we just relax, and enjoy an afternoon of respite? Because we’re always doing. We’re always building and planting and buying and making and amassing. Just like Solomon. But we’ll find, just like Solomon, that while we’re doing all this “stuff” on our outside world, we’re doing very little work on our internal world. And look at th Ecclesiastes 2:11 ; “Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke; smoke and spitting into the wind. e result. (And you thought “Spittin’ in the Wind” was a Jimmy Buffet song!) There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.”

Three – break the connection between your circumstances and your character. Between our circumstances and our character. Pleasure can be sustained as long as the circumstances are right. Happiness is sustained when our character is right.

Ever play the “if only” game? If only if this set of circumstances occurred, I’d be happy. If only I won the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes, I’d be happy. By the way, and this is confidential just between me and you; I got a little notice in the mail that in the next 60 days I’m going to win 3 ½ million dollars in the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes. I’m only supposed to tell my closest friends, so I’m telling you. And I’m going to be unhappy if I don’t win it for two reasons. One, Ed McMahon has lied to me in the past. And two, I’d be unhappy, because that’s just the kind of people we are. We really do believe that happiness can come to us in the mail. We really do believe that happiness will come from a changed set of circumstances. We really do believe we can find happiness in people or places or things. We are so externally focused on what matters … it’s all about what’s on the outside. Favorable circumstances … looking good … feeling good … enjoying the world’s pleasures. We take far little time ensuring that we have the right substance … the right stuff on the inside.

There was a woman who faced a life or death surgery. She was forgivably worried she’d even survive, but during the surgery, she heard a voice say to her, “You still have 42 more years to live.” When she woke up, she called in the surgeon and told him, “I’m going to live for many more years, so, while I’m here, I want a little extra work.” So she had a liposuction, a tummy tuck, a face lift, some implants … a friend came by and colored her hair. A few days later, she was discharged from the hospital, and as she was walking down the sidewalk, she’s hit by a taxi cab, and killed. She finds herself standing before God, and she says, “I thought you said I’d live another 42 years! How come you let that cab hit me?” And God said, “I didn’t recognize you.”

I know that’s bad theology, but it is a good joke. And there’s a spiritual point to the story. Here’s the point. God is more interested in how we look in our hearts and in our attitudes and in our inner person than how we look on the outside.

The Bible is full of men and women who were able to rejoice even though the circumstances of their lives were hard. They had internal joy in spite of external circumstances. Jesus said in Luke 6:22; “Happy are you when men hate you and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man …” Peter wrote in his first book, “Even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed” (1st Peter 3:14). “Blessed” is the same Greek word for “internal happiness.” When circumstances are bad, we can still be happy. Know why? Because happiness is an inside job. Happiness is an inside job.

Over and over the Bible tells us we can be happy regardless of what’s going on around us. We can be happy because of what’s going on within us. Got it? It doesn’t matter if we have a little or we have a lot. What we need to be truly happy is found in Jesus Christ and having Him in our lives. One of the great lies of our culture is that we can have it all. We can’t. We may think we can, but we can’t. What’s even more stupid, we think we deserve to have it all. We don’t. It’s only by God’s gracious gift … nothing we deserve at all … His gracious gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, that we can have all that really, truly matters.

So, how do we find this lasting, internal joy?

One – we must receive God’s forgiveness. We have to get things right between us and God. We know we can never have internal peace and love and joy, in spite of outward circumstances, when we are separated from the God who made and loves us. How could it be otherwise? In the place we want happiness, we have shame, guilt and fear.

The liar is always worried about remembering his lies so he doesn’t get tripped up. The thief is always worrying about getting arrested at midnight or being caught with the goods. Corrupt politicians are always afraid that their ethics violations will be uncovered. Unfaithful marriage partners are always fearful that their adultery will be exposed. Why do people continue down those roads and have all these negative feelings and emotions when God wants to replace those with internal peace of mind and happiness? Because even in the midst of guilt and fear, there are still enough temporary moments of pleasure to keep those people like drugged out junkies … to keep them moving in those destructive patterns.

The liar gets by with it because he lie wasn’t detected, so he wears a smug smile on his face. The thief enjoys a small financial windfall because he successfully snagged some stuff. The politician enjoys the adulation of her constituents as she’s cruising upward through the power circles. The adulterer thrills from those stolen moments of illicit sexual pleasure. But it’s all temporary. And it’s all circumstantial. And between the small tastes of pleasure, there’s always the bitter aftertaste of guilt and shame and fear.

When we’re paying attention at all to the signals in our soul we know intuitively that one day we’re going to stand before God and talk about the life we’ve lived. And the thought of that drains those feelings of pleasure from our souls as it drains the color from our face. It doesn’t have to be that way. God has provided a way through His son, Jesus Christ. David sings of God’s grace in Psalm 32 – this is a paraphrase.

“Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be – you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky – God holds nothing against you and you’re holding back nothing from Him. When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became day long groans. The pressure never let up; all the juices of my life dried up. Then I let it all out; I said, ‘I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.’ Suddenly the pressure was gone – my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.”

That’s true happiness. Receive God’s forgiveness.

Number two – submit to God’s discipline, His way of life. Submit to God’s discipline, His way of life.

Here’s a truth that most parents know but most kids doubt. Disciple is an expression of love. We know that … when we discipline a child we do it in love … helping them become more mature and responsible. Discipline is an expression of correction and direction. It’s discipline that says, “Don’t touch that hot stove. Don’t run out into the street without looking both ways.” It’s discipline that corrects that potty mouth or sharp tongue. It’s discipline that teaches that all behavior will have consequences. It’s discipline that tells us, “Why don’t you take a momentary pass on pleasure so that you can have lasting happiness later?”

We know God loves us because He disciplines us. He has established boundaries and then has said to us, “Don’t step out of bounds!” Did God do that to limit us? No, He did that to correct and direct us because He loves us. Job 5:17 says; “Happy is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” So much unhappiness in our lives could be avoided if we just lived within God’s boundaries. But this post-modern world says, “There’s no absolute right or wrong! There are no boundaries that everyone should observe. You can just do what you want!” So there is moral confusion. How can we know we’re going in the right direction if there is no compass, no magnetic north by which we can make our settings? How do we know if we’re doing right or wrong? By watching Oprah? Jesus pointed out the spiritual and moral magnetic north. He said; “Happy are those who hear the Word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28 ). Proverbs 8:34 says, “Happy is the person who listens to God.” David prays in Psalm 119:35; “[God] Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.”

The Bible is full of stories about pleasure gone bad, and how Jesus can give a new life and a fresh start with God for all those who will turn to Him. Stories like the rich young ruler (Luke 18). Zaccheus (Luke 19). The woman who had five husbands, and was now living with a man to whom she was not married (John 4). Then, one of the most familiar of all the stories; we find it in John, chapter 8.

Jesus is confronted by an angry mob of men who throw this woman down at His feet. She’d been caught in the act of adultery. The law clearly stated she should be condemned and pummeled with rocks until she died. But Jesus said to that angry crowd; “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). One by one the men dropped their rocks and walked away. This is a story of pleasure gone bad, and how this woman discovered true happiness.

Just image what this woman’s life might have been like. Maybe at one point she had been a young bride, with sweet dreams of married life with a loving, devoted husband. But somehow, things didn’t quite work out that way. She was disappointed in her marriage. Eventually, she met another man; and he noticed her; and that was pleasurable. Maybe it had been a long time since she felt noticed. That’s a powerful thing for an aching heart. At first, it was all quite innocent, but then one day she crossed a line. It was so pleasurable. But, maybe at the beginning, she would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, afraid she would be caught; but those feelings would always pass. Then comes this night. There must have been men outside the house, watching and waiting. They come in and seize her. Maybe she begged for mercy. She would anything to go back to where she crossed that first line of pleasure, but she can’t go back. They wrap her in bed sheets and drag her through town in front of everybody; and throw her at the feet of Jesus. Suddenly she realizes, with terrible clarity, why she is here. She chose to be here. She cast her vote for pleasure at any price. And here she is.

Does this sound familiar – pursuing pleasure at any cost? Greed and materialism fall into this category. Addictions. Substance abuse. Compulsions. Laziness. They all fit into this category of pleasure gone bad. How far is it going to go? Jesus looks at this woman, and she looks at Him. She heard what the mob had demanded. She heard Jesus say something about casting stones. She sensed the mob walk away. She’s not sure what will happen next. Then she hears Jesus say, “Woman, I don’t condemn you either.” It may be more than she can handle. Maybe her reaction starts as a groan then gives way to sobbing. The fear of being stoned to death falls off her back like a load of rocks. She pulls the bed sheets around her shoulders and stands to leave. And welling in her heart is a feeling she had long forgotten, or maybe never even experienced before. Happiness. Like a seed giving life, pushing up through the dirt. Happiness in being forgiven, and getting a fresh start in life. A fresh start with God. True happiness flooded her spirit. She felt reborn. And Jesus said to her, “Go and sin no more.”

Jesus was not advocating a perfect life. He knows we can’t live a perfect life. But He was advocating for this woman, and all women, and all men, to live the life we’ve been created to live. First, to receive forgiveness from Christ, to hear Him say, “You are not condemned by Me.” And then, to go from this place, living life His way, not consumed by pleasure, but inwardly at peace with God.

Peace with God. Friends. That is true, lasting and ultimately fulfilling happiness. That’s the life that Jesus Christ offers.

Rev. Robert D. Shofner, Jr. attended California State University at Northridge followed by Yale Divinity School. Pastor Bob has served churches in New York, Washington, California, and Nebraska. He has been serving St. John's UCC Boonville since December 2001.He preaches a message that is contemporary in style, but grounded in the unchanging authority of God's Word.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Waiting on the Lord

Standing Still Before the Lord
By Keith Kiper
Reprinted from God's Revivalist & Bible Advocate

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today;for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.” Exodus 14:13

We are living in an era of ever increasing fear and tension. We are afraid to leave home without locking our houses. We are afraid to help people because of lawsuits. We can’t fly overseas without the threat of a terrorist hijacking.
With all our technology and education we are not really much different than people in Moses’ day. We tell others to trust in Jesus, what seminars they should attend, even what scriptures they should use to overcome trials and temptations.
Why is it then, that when things start going wrong for us; we so many times run to our doctors, our counselors, and our prescriptions. Why don’t we seek the wisdom and counsel of the Lord?
Part of the answer to that question could be that we live in a time when everything is readily obtained. We have instant coffee, instant meals, and even instant pictures. We want it all: RIGHT NOW, if not sooner. In short, we are not willing to stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.
Standing still before the Lord involves more effort than many people are willing to put forth to seek God’s will. We want to make formulas out of scripture verse to fit our particular situations, hoping again for that “instant” cure to our problems. It becomes easy to use our salvation as a fire escape from hell, using it when we need it, rather than as a total way of life affecting every thought and every decision.
Standing still before the Lord may involve intense prayer and fasting to seek guidance in a situation.
Aside from definite decisions about particular situations, we need to learn the value of standing still before the Lord to help us in our everyday living, working, and playing.
Standing still before the Lord involves a daily time of prayer and communion with Him. We will find that our days will go better and our ministries will become more fruitful if we put that time of waiting before Him as the first priority in our lives and as the first thing on our agenda for each day.
Jesus told His disciples that without Him they could do nothing. Even Jesus waited before the Lord for 40 days in prayer and fasting. This should say it all for us.
I challenge you, wait upon and stand still before the Lord. The fears and tensions will leave you and you will find yourself involved in a more effective ministry for Him, whatever your place is in God’s plan..

This was first published in the September 1986 Issue of God's Revivalist. I was going through a time of testing. I had ministry decisions to make, and Vicky and I were going through the process of waiting for the adoption of a child. God gave me this article and it was then published by God’s Revivalist in the September 1986 issues.
Recently, some 20 years later, I found I had colon cancer. After a testing of my faith, I found the promises God have given me then to still be true. With all the economic turmoil going on in the world around us, I feel the truths God gave me then still applies today.

Please send me any articles, poems, or testimonies you may have...keith 1 Cor 13

Time to Support Our Pro Life Catholic Friends

Notre Dame President Defends Pro-Abortion Obama Invite Despite Bishops' Rules

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 9
, 2009

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South Bend, IN ( -- The president of the University of Notre Dame is again defending his decision to invite pro-abortion President Barack Obama to give the college's commencement address. In a new statement, Rev. John Jenkins refuses to back down in the face of a document from the nation's Catholic bishops.

In June 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement that makes it clear that Catholic colleges should not allow abortion advocates to have a platform to speak to students or be honored with special awards and degrees.

"Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions,' the bishops say.

But Jenkins, in a letter to the Board of Trustees at the University of Notre Dame, says his decision to invite and honor Obama with a degree doesn't violate the bishops' guidelines.

Noting how numerous bishops and pro-life groups have cited the document to criticize his decision, Jenkins writes, "Our interpretation of this document is different from the one that has been imposed by those criticizing us."

Jenkins calls the document "provisional" but claims he and other Notre Dame officials "have tried to follow both the letter and the spirit of its recommendations."

The Notre Dame president claims the college's invitation to Obama doesn't apply because Obama is not Catholic.

"Because the title of the document is 'Catholics in Political Life,' we understood this to refer to honoring Catholics whose actions are not in accord with our moral principles," Jenkins writes. "This interpretation was supported by canon lawyers we consulted, who advised us that, by definition, only Catholics who implicitly recognize the authority of Church teaching can act in 'defiance' of it."

"Moreover, fellow university presidents have told me that their bishops have told them that in fact it is only Catholic politicians who are referred to in this document," he adds.

Jenkins also says he is within the guidelines because he has repeatedly condemned Obama's pro-abortion record.

Patrick Reilly, president of Cardinal Newman Society, which has secured the signatures of 255,000 people who are opposed to Notre Dame's decision, says Jenkins' interpretation is wrong.

He points to the fact that most of the 29 Catholic bishops who have publicly criticized Notre Dame for honoring President Obama have cited “Catholics in Political Life” as foundational to their arguments.

“How can Father Jenkins maintain that his interpretation of the Bishops’ statement is correct when so many of the bishops themselves, including Notre Dame’s own bishop, have given the exact opposite interpretation?” Reilly asked.

“Who is he to reinterpret the bishops’ own statement?” he told

“In his statement, Father Jenkins once again attempts to argue that Notre Dame is not suggesting support for the president’s abysmal record on life issues,” said Reilly. “And yet it is plainly clear to more than two dozen bishops, thousands of students and alumni and the more than a quarter million petition signers that Notre Dame has betrayed Catholic values.”

ACTION: Contact Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, at 574-631-5000, fax 574-631-2770, email, or mail to 317 Main Building, Notre Dame, IN 46556. You can call Notre Dame at (574) 631-5000 or use the email form at

Related web sites:
Cardinal Newman Society -

Some things go beyond politics. When our leaders support Biblical views, we should support them. When they contradict God's clear teaching, we need to let them know...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

God Still Heals Today-My Testimony

As Resurrection Sunday is fast approaching, it makes you stop and think. I think about the things I am happy to have such as life, family and friends. I wrote these things down a while back. As Holiness people, we still believe God heals. Here is my testimony that healing is real and for God's people today.

We as a holiness people believe that God can still heal. We know He can do this in a spiritual sense. God also can heal in a physical manner. How do I know this? It happened to me. Back in September of 2006, I learned about faith and healing first hand. Just prior to that, I didn’t know I had any faith left.
I had been working in a local factory. I was earning a decent wage. Things were going along fairly well. Then everything changed. I started feeling pain and experiencing symptoms which were new to me. Sometimes, you just know when something is wrong inside. A short time later, a friend at church, Jim Walker, testified about how God had helped him through cancer surgery. His symptoms sounded an awfully lot like mine. God can use us when we are bold enough to tell others how He has worked in our life. God used Jim that day. I feared the worst. The big “C” can be very frightening when it happens to you. When I didn’t think I had any faith left, something kicked into motion. I called and emailed everyone I knew. Family and friends begin to pray. The Holy Spirit inspired my faith through their prayers and ignited my faith. No, it was not an easy road to travel. But I didn’t have to travel it alone. Family and friends helped. When Christians help other Christians, in can inspire their faith. Those who have gone through similar situations know what I am talking about. I drew closer to God in a way I had not before. Romans tells us that God will work everything for good when we trust Him. I found that to be true! I underwent several surgeries. I almost died. I had to make some permanent adjustments. No chemo or radiation, praise be to God! I am privileged to be a licensed minister in the Wesleyan Church and I am only about a year short of being ordained. I didn’t see how any of these things could be possible just a little over a couple of years ago. All credit must rest with God. You see, God still cares about and loves us, doesn’t He? The faith that inspired my heart and brought healing can only come from above. When God puts it upon your heart to testify about His great love, do what Jim did and never under estimate how He might use you.

God bless...keith 1 Cor 13