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Faith

Faith

Marlon Furtado

Across the expanse of time, people of every generation have stood in awe at the beauty and majesty of the heavens. Looking up into the night sky has inspired songwriters and poets in every age. When my son was at Yosemite National Park, he took photos of the sky on a clear night. I was amazed to see the innumerable stars that filled the sky from horizon to horizon. Because of the city lights where I live, many of these stars are hidden from my view. Can you imagine what it must have been like before there was electricity? While still a young shepherd, before he became king of Israel, David often spent evenings staring into the heavens. His thoughts have been written down and preserved in Psalm 8:3-4, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him?” Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

One of the things the Bible teaches is the total depravity of unredeemed man. “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God” (Romans 3:10). If enough people believe the lies of the devil, eventually their entire culture becomes depraved.

Witness what happened last week in Miami Beach, Florida. There, a 41-year-old woman – her motive is unknown – was spotted stomping on the nest of a sea turtle, and jabbing at it with a wooden stake. She was summarily arrested and charged with the crime of “turtle egg molestation or harassment.”

Sea turtle eggs have been welcomed in life and protected in law since 1973 when they found shelter under the Endangered Species Act. Paradoxically, 1973 was the very same year in which abortion was “legalized” by the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

If evolution is true, then there must have been a time when these three animals did not possess their miraculous abilities. I’ve listened in on their meetings at that time.

BATS. “Guys, I’m having difficulty flying at night and catching enough insects to fill my stomach. But I’ve been thinking. Why don’t we start using a high-pitched sonar to locate the insects at night?” Another bat in the back of the group speaks up. “What’s sonar?” The first bat tries to explain, “It’s a noise we make. It will bounce off the insects and return to our little ears. Then we’ll do some fast, complex mathematics to determine the speed and trajectory of the insects. And then we’ll be able to nab more food.” The bat at the back yells out again, “I’m still having trouble understanding this sonar-thing. If I don’t understand it, how am I to pass it down to my bat-children?” Continue reading

Pastor Bill Ehmann

Air Force Academy cadets keep a giant American flag aloft during the Air Force-Brigham Young University halftime 9/11 memorial ceremony at Falcon Stadium near Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 11, 2010. The flag measured about 55 yards by 30 yards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

It is good to have Flag Day. I believe every day should be a reminder of the significance of our American flag. It is a symbol of the freedom we enjoy in this great country. As long as it flies, we know we have certain rights and privileges.

The flag makes a statement of ownership. In a sense, each American owns this country. If we value and appreciate the relationship, we will do our part to maintain the portion that we call home. We will honor the heritage we enjoy because of people who gave us what we have.

When the American flag stands with those of other countries, it presents a cooperative effort beyond our borders. When nations work together for the good of all people, the benefits are without measure. Flags offer a statement of unity.

The stars and stripes on our flag represent the nation. While culture and traditions vary throughout the country, the 50 stars declare that we are one nation with goals and values that are essential to everyone. Those 13 red and white stripes remind us of commitment and faith of families who gave us the foundation of the country we enjoy today. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Ever put a cranberry in your mouth, mistaking it for a cherry? As soon as you bit down, you became acutely aware of your mistake. Or you’ve taken a big bite out of an apple that was bad, and immediately spit it out. Far more serious than bitter foods is a bitter heart. The Bible describes bitterness as a seed germinating in the soil of an offended heart, sending down roots, and growing into a bush that bears fruit that can poison every relationship in our lives.

The New Testament speaks to this poison of bitterness in Hebrews 12:14-15, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Christ had a very clear understanding of why He was born into our world. He expressed that purpose to Nicodemus [Nic, for short] in a late-night conversation recorded in the third chapter of John. Nic was a very religious man, having devoted his life to the study of the Scriptures. But as he heard of the miraculous healings Jesus was performing, he was honest to admit that his religious traditions paled in comparison to Christ’s power. Therefore, he arranged a private meeting with the Lord. During their brief encounter, Jesus explained that He came to this world so that people of all backgrounds could go to Heaven.

Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Often when I get home after church, I’ll plop on the couch, turn on the TV for background noise, and work on another blog. I enjoy watching golf, which is so slow and quiet. On the far other extreme, I also like to watch car races. It may seem odd, but there is something relaxing about the deep throats of those cars as they barrel around the track.

When I was in college, I worked at a plywood mill some distance away. As I drove my Plymouth Fury to work one evening, I decided to see how fast it could go on the long straight stretch of road. When I approached 100 miles per hour, the car started to shake, and I quickly backed off the accelerator. Scared me to death. It was the last time I tried that! I can’t imagine the nerves of steel it must take to drive over 200 miles per hour while trailing another car by only inches. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

The Bible is full of stories of real people who faced real challenges. One such account is that of a young Jewish girl named Esther. After her parents died she was raised by her cousin, Mordecai [more-dah-kye]. She lived in the Persian capital city of Susa about 500 years before Christ. Hers is a remarkable story of God’s intervention, mixed with her winsomeness and boldness.

At a state party, King Xerxes (some versions use his other name – Ahasuerus),became furious with his queen and, with a wave of his hand, deposed her. His advisors suggested he hold something like a Miss Universe pageant to select a new queen. Liking this idea, he ordered all the attractive young unmarried women throughout his empire to be brought to his palace. Esther is among those rounded up for the competition.

I’m assuming Esther was looking forward to marrying a Jewish man some day and raising a family. All of a sudden, these plans were dashed. If she didn’t become the queen, all her future held was a single life surrounded by other women in the king’s harem. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

The Bible is full of stories of real people who faced real challenges. One such account is that of a young Jewish girl named Esther. After her parents died she was raised by her cousin, Mordecai [more-dah-kye]. She lived in the Persian capital city of Susa about 500 years before Christ. Hers is a remarkable story of God’s intervention, mixed with her winsomeness and boldness.

At a state party, King Xerxes (some versions use his other name – Ahasuerus),became furious with his queen and, with a wave of his hand, deposed her. His advisors suggested he hold something like a Miss Universe pageant to select a new queen. Liking this idea, he ordered all the attractive young unmarried women throughout his empire to be brought to his palace. Esther is among those rounded up for the competition. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Have you ever wished you could attend a Bible conference in which Jesus is the keynote speaker? Can you imagine sitting in the front row as He explains the Scriptures? This awesome privilege was experienced by two men, not in a modern convention center, but on a dusty road outside of Jerusalem. You can read about their exclusive Bible class in Luke 24.

The men were walking back home to Emmaus [I pronounce it ee-may’-us]. They had been in Jerusalem to see Jesus, the young rabbi whom they were sure was the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. They expected Him to overthrow all the wicked kingdoms of the world and replace them with His kingdom of righteousness and justice. But all their dreams died two days earlier, on Friday, when they saw Jesus bloodied, beaten and crucified. Now that their leader was dead, there was no longer any reason to stay in Jerusalem. They had never felt so discouraged and depressed. The seven-mile journey home seemed like a million miles, and their feet never felt so heavy. Continue reading

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