Christian Carnival 274

christian_carnival_lion.jpgThe carnival is back in town and we’ve had another great response this week. It’s always wonderful to see some first timers joining the carnival as well as some of the regulars at their thought provoking best.

The weekly Christian Carnival is an opportunity for Christian blog writers to share their best posts from the previous week. The topic of the post doesn’t necessarily have to focus on Christianity but it must reflect a Christian worldview, and the writer must be Christian to qualify.

As always it’s a real honour to be able to present such a diverse range of great posts.

Please take the time to read through each post … it’s worth it. You might also like to link to this week’s carnival so that your blog readers can enjoy the variety of styles and thought.

andriel was first in this week posting A Coming One-World Religious System over at

Annette at Fish and Cans presents a post titled True Woman – a lasting kindness.

Have you wondered about how God does and doesn’t use money? Read what FMF has to say in the post How God Uses and Doesn’t Use Money posted at Free Money Finance.

Yvette Nietzen posted about Having a ready mind at her blog Fresh Wind Ministries.

What’s on at the movies? Shot presents Conservative Movie Reviews | at

Head over to at Fathom Deep: Sounding the Depths of God to read Tiffany Partin‘s post Ladybug and the Great Doodlebug Relocation Project.

According to the Parable of the Talents, we have a responsibility to wisely use the money with which we have been entrusted. With that in mind, ChristianPF asks a tough question. Are you a good steward of God’s money? That post is at Money in the Bible | Christian Personal Finance Blog.

april rose presents like a scarlet letter posted at little april rose.

Dave Quinn wants to article is to encourage Christians with the surety that we carry the same story and power that Peter and John displayed in Acts 4. We carry the story and the power is a powerful read at The PASSION Blog.

Gabe Lopez has written Potential Essentials and posted it at

“I think Solzhenitsyn’s editors have read him carelessly, and have convicted him of a superficial and satanic defense of war and government that he was mocking in the mouth of one of his characters, an Orthodox priest.” That’s what David Gross has to say in his post, Reading Solzhenitsyn at The Picket Line.

Martin Roth presents an exclusive interview with a prominent online Christian dating service that is completely free. – interview with Christian Counseling Services is posted at Christian Counseling Services.

Ken Brown has been, “Thinking about my “terrible two” year old daughter, Jesus’ parables, and justice.” Find out how it all fits together at A Gracious Father or an Unjust Judge? posted at C. Orthodoxy.

Diane R presents a very short post on what Jesus would really do if He walked the earth today asking, What Would Jesus Really Do? over at Crossroads: Where Faith and Inquiry Meet.
Barry Wallace’s pastor’s wife participated in a panel interview on the topic of infertility and adoption. Barry has written Adoption and Infertility: An interview with my pastor’s wife posted at who am i?.

Richard H. Anderson presents The Word of God in Song posted at dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos Theophilos. Richard is wondering if Luther was the first person to use music as a teaching device for religious instruction and/or the first person to use music as a teaching device for any purpose. Richard would appreciate your knowledge or thoughts on the matter.

A Sower presents Anticipation posted at A Sower’s Heart, asking, “Are we like children?”

Shannon Christman has written a post that is not specifically about Christianity, but which raises some questions that Christians should consider in A Child’s Best Friends: The Wonderpets? at The Minority Thinker.

How should we think about parenting responsibilities in terms of the principles that underlie the biblical Sabbath? Jeremy Pierce asks the question and provides some guidance in Parental Responsibilities and the Sabbath posted at Parableman.

At Light Along the Journey John has penned a parable about disappointment, acceptance, & walking with God in his post A Road Trip With Jesus.
michelle presents Joel 2:25-26 posted at Thoughts and Confessions of a Girl Who Loves Jesus….

And finally, Rey presents You Believe That ‘Cause… posted at The Bible Archive, saying the post goes over the genetic fallacy and offering some examples of how it’s been used.

If you’re a Christian and you missed out this week, how about choosing something to contribute for next week’s edition? It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just a post that outlines your point of view or is designed to get others thinking. Being part of the carnival could be a great way to gain a little extra traffic at your blog.

The easiest way to get involved is to submit your article through the Blog Carnival Submission Form. Otherwise, you can email the submission address.

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to spread the word.

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Sex, Children and Purity

I’ve posted a couple of times before about children growing up too fast and the oversexualisation of young children. I still get regular search engine hits on my blog from people looking for answers about how to deal with sensitive subjects with their children.

How old should my kids be before I talk to them about sex? What should I tell them? Are my children being influenced by what they see on television or the internet? How can I help my children to stay pure? These are some of the questions with which many parents struggle.

Our kids are having their sexuality awakened a long time before they’re mature enough to make responsible decisions regarding their bodies. Can’t we just let kids be kids?

I was amused a couple of years back when we were having a family picnic in a park to see a group of very young girls, perhaps around the age of 11 or 12, who were all dressed in skimpy skirts and tiny tops playing on the playground equipment. They had bought the lie that they had to look ’sexy’ but deep inside what they really wanted to do was play like the children that they were.

Padded bras and lacy underwear sets are just a couple of the items that are being sold and aggresively marketed to girls aged from 7 to 12 in our shopping centres. Sex is being used to sell pretty much everything and it seems that it doesn’t matter who a product is being marketed to, sex sells.

“If the message is that you should be sexy and grown up, instead of being a kid – then kids aren’t practicing and learning how to be whole human beings that will actually make them into great adults. They are instead only imitating adult behaviour, without understanding it – and that’s very dangerous for their development”. – Amanda Gordon. President, Australian Psychology Society.

“I tell parents, ‘don’t buy sexy clothes for your children’. There’s nothing smart about having a 4 yr old in a little bra. It’s time for adults to take a stand, for parents to take a stand and say ‘this is what we want for our children’ – instead of children saying ‘this is what I want for me”. – Amanda Gordon. President, Australian Psychology Society.

“There is a concern that we are sending very conflicting messages to people. On the one hand, we’re telling people that children need to be protected – that paedophilia is regarded as one of the most heinous crimes – on the other hand we allow advertisers and marketers to present images and saturate our media with images that might be sexually arousing to some paedophiles in the community.” – Dr Louise Newman. Director, Institute of Psychiatry.

“Childhood is shrinking. We are exposing children to adult concepts that they can’t manage, that are developmentally inappropriate, and I think we are going to pay the cost for this in a range of emotional and psychological costs down the track.” – Dr Joe Tucci. Australian Childhood Foundation.

“Sex is being used to grab the attention of not just adults but kids as well. If the multibillion dollar ‘tween’ market is any indication, it’s a sales pitch that’s working”. – Dr Karen Brooks. Senior Lecturer Communication & Cultural Studies, University of Sunshine Coast.

“It is folly for us to pretend that the trend towards sexualisation of childrens fashion and advertising is harmless. It is part of a cynical but savage fight for our spending dollar, and the earlier children are pressed into thinking sexually, the earlier they will act sexually”. –
Rob Robertson. Ministerial co-ordinator, Australia. Setting Captives Free.

In this sex saturated society, avoiding the topic with our children simply hands the responsibility to someone else. Our kids will hear about sex one way or another so we need to decide if we want our children to hear about our values or the values of Holywood and the marketers.

If you’re struggling with what to say and do in this regard, you may be interested in a couple of new websites.

Purity Paradigm is a website dedicated to a Christian understanding of purity. This is not just a ‘say no’ kind of website. It’s a site that comes from a real understanding of the issues. It’s written by Heather McEwan and it comes from life experience and a true desire to understand how to help young people make choices that won’t come back and bite them in later life. I wrote an endorsement for Heather after having her as a guest on my morning radio programme some time ago.

Heather McEwan is so obviously passionate about ‘doing family well’ especially in matters of purity. That passion is displayed not only in the way that she presents her material but in the material itself.

Heather speaks from experience backed up by exhaustive research. When Heather talks about a subject you can guarantee that she has consulted a number of sources to ensure she is presenting the very best.

Heather’s heart is burdened by her desire to see young people growing into mature adults, free from the emotional hurts and scars that can come from wrong decisions.

She is also passionate about seeing people of all ages find healing and release from past decisions, allowing them to move confidently into the future God has planned for them.

If you want to keep up with some of the other things that occupy Heather’s heart and mind, check out her new blog Mama Frazzle.

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Who is the guy with the beard?

christ.jpgI’ve posted this before but in light of the Easter season I thought it was worth reflecting on again.

I wrote this a few years ago when I’d been thinking about a few lines from the good book. They come from Luke’s account of what Jesus got up to when he was here a couple of thousand years ago.

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

I suppose that if we reset the scene in modern times it might look more like:

Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”

They replied, “Some say you’re a good man; others say a teacher; others say a religious leader; others say a misunderstood man; others say a fictional character; others say an irrelevant historical figure; others say a prophet; others say a bigot; and still others, that you’re a guy who made Mel Gibson a truck load of money.”

Then comes the question that should be directed to each one of us.

“But what about you? Who do you say I am?”

Jesus was very wise in the way he asked his question. (After all, he is Jesus.) He says to his disciples, “Firstly let’s clear up what everyone else is saying about me.” It can be very easy for us to parrot someone else’s idea of who Jesus was or is. There are so many options that we can easily pick one that sounds reasonable to us.

But Jesus doesn’t give the disciples that option. After clearing up the range of things that others were saying, he focuses in on the individuals in front of him and says, “But What about you? Who do you say I am?”

I believe he’s doing the same today. We need to be aware that there are many ideas of who Jesus is but in the end we need to answer that second question for ourselves.

Jesus looks at us all saying “But What about you? Who do you say I am?” Not who do your parents say I am; not who do your workmates say I am; not who do your philosophy books say I am; not who does your pastor say I am; not who does your church say I am, but “Who do you say I am?”

Whether we say we believe the Bible’s idea of who Jesus is or not, we can’t afford to just grab someone else’s ideas on this one. We need to be open enough to have our views challenged. We need to look at how we came to hold the views we do and decide if that’s a good enough reason to think that way.

All the arguments about what people believe about Christians and their views are secondary and irrelevant until we decide what Jesus is about.

If we truly look at the evidence for ourselves and decide that Jesus was just a man we’ve got nothing to lose but if he was who the Bible claims and we don’t acknowledge it, our life could be at stake.

I’m siding with Peter on this one when he answered, “Who do you say I am?” with “The Christ of God.” Exactly what that means for me and the way I live my life is something that I will continue to grapple with for the rest of my life.

Who do you say Jesus is?

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meditation.jpgMeditation is a spiritual discipline that is generally associated with eastern philosophies and beliefs and which is often shunned by the Christian church but is there a place for meditation in Christian belief?

There are several references to meditation in the Bible, including the following passage which begins the Psalms.

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. – Psalm 1 – NLT

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

Yesterday Ross and I discussed the differences between what many would understand by the term meditation and what the Biblical understanding should be.

Meditation can be a useful tool in drawing closer to God and growing in our faith. Ross outlines some very practical ideas of how we can make meditation part of our spiritual journey.

Listen to what Ross had to say on the topic by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.


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What Colour is the Wind?

Laycock.gifIn November 2006, at the age of 69, Graham Laycock passed away while travelling in Thailand.

Graham had lived a remarkable and inspiring life and at the time of his death he had completed the first draft of his autobiography. Editor Chris Walker took that draft, and doing his best to stay faithful to Graham’s own words, completed the book which has now been released under the title What Colour is the Wind?

Losing his sight at an early age was only one of the challenges that Graham faced throughout life. He took on everything life threw at him and came out on top.

He was a man of many passions. He was passionate about educating sighted people about the life of a blind person. He was passionate about his career in physiotherapy. He was passionate about helping others to reach their full potential, whatever their ability or disability. Above all he was passionate about his faith in Jesus Christ. He preached all over the world and loved to share his faith with others.

Graham Laycock was also an accomplished musician. He made playing guitar look easy but his talent was backed up by constant practice. He was inspired to continue developing his musical talent after meeting the legendary Nat King Cole. It was Nat who encouraged him to keep practicing and developing as a musician.

I recently spoke about the book and about Graham’s life with his widow, Peggy Laycock on 98.5 Sonshine FM. You can hear more of Graham’s story by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.


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