03/21/14

Kevin Sorbo: Why is Hollywood so afraid of God?

By 

FoxNews.com
 

Kevin Sorbo is sick of what he calls Hollywood’s intolerance to those who believe in God.

“There’s a negativity towards Christians in Hollywood,” Sorbo told FOX411. “And a negativity towards people who believe in God.”

It’s not just faith that Hollywood is intolerant of. Sorbo, who has spoken out against President Obama’s policies, feels the backlash from the entertainment industry for his political affiliations.

“There’s also a negativity towards people who aren’t liberal. There’s no question that it has hurt me in Hollywood that I didn’t vote for Obama.”

Sorbo said he doesn’t understand why his religious or political beliefs should have any affect on his work as an actor, but he has noticed a decline in role offers since coming out of the “Christian closet.”

“There’s some much bashing going on in the media and world for people who believe in God,” said Sorbo. “I’m just not afraid of the [politically correct] crowd I’ll go right back at them.”

What it all comes down to is Hollywood not being open to those with differing beliefs, said Sorbo.

“There’s so much anger in Hollywood,” the “God’s Not Dead” star said. “They don’t like the truth, they’d rather belied to and they just attack anybody who doesn’t agree their way.”

“Yet they scream for tolerance and they scream for freedom of speech but only if it’s their way,” Sorbo continued. ‘”I don’t begrudge them their beliefs, why do they begrudge mine?”

Sorbo said he often finds himself asking, “Why is there a fear factor for God in Hollywood?” to which he has no answer.

“I wish someone in Hollywood would come up and answer that question,” he said. “I don’t want to cut people’s freedom of speech down but the other side does. They can have their opinions but say I can’t have mine?”

But those with Sorbo’s opinions are starting to become more vocal. With the rise of faith-based shows like “Duck Dynasty” and Sorbo’s new film “God’s Not Dead,” mainstream Hollywood might have some competition.

“I think ultimately, the sleeping giant is waking up. People are tired of it,” Sorbo said. “Christians as a whole, I find, are far more tolerant than the kinds of things you see on SNL and MSNBC bashing Christians and making comedic jokes about Jesus.”

Look at Bill Mahr who often makes jokes at the expense of the religious, said Sorbo. “He’s the biggest atheist out there but look at him, he’s miserable.”

Be an atheist if you want, the actor said. But don’t tell him he can’t believe in God.

“I’m not the perfect Christian, I don’t pretend to be,” he admitted. “I’m sure there are smarter atheists out there that can make me look like a complete fool but that’s why they call it faith. If I’m wrong, I’ve lost nothing and if I’m right I’ve gained everything.”

It’s that kind of attitude that Sorbo has tried to instill in his three children. But it’s a constant battle in a world that is becoming more accepting of promiscuity and bad behavior.

“It’s tough to find a good role model for kids today,” said Sorbo. “Even on the Disney Channel there’s stuff there that just isn’t suitable for kids.”

There’s a “purposeful downplay of morals in Hollywood,” and Sorbo wants to know why.

“I don’t want to see 11-year-olds talking about sex and I don’t think that’s being prudish of me.You can’t protect them with everything in media but I want to let my kids enjoy being a kid and Hollywood for whatever reason again just wants to change the moral values most families want for their kids.”

What’s the solution? Start standing up for what you believe in, he said.

“The silent majority is starting to get annoyed with what’s going on” said Sorbo. “I think more people need to start speaking about it instead of just sitting there and taking it because we’ve turned into a bunch of wusses and it’s ridiculous. Its happening, you’re getting attacked, you need to stand up for yourself and your beliefs.”

03/21/14

British court dismisses ex-Mormon’s suit against church; case challenged faith’s core beliefs

Published March 20, 2014

| Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY –  A British court says the president of the Mormon church doesn’t have to answer to fraud allegations, and says a lawsuit brought by a former Mormon leader attempts to manipulate the court to attack the religious beliefs of others.

A decision issued Thursday by Judge Howard Riddle of the Westminster Magistrates’ Court closes the case against President Thomas S. Monson.

The lawsuit was brought by Thomas Phillips, who left the church in 2004 and now runs a website challenging church history and doctrine.

Phillips says the church perpetuates lies to maintain a steady stream of tithing income. He called the ruling a setback.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement saying they are satisfied with the decision and the case should have never been brought.

03/18/14

Pope Francis nixes meeting with ‘Noah’s’ Russell Crowe, Darren Aronofsky

ENTERTAINMENT

By Ramin Setoodeh

Variety
  • This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Jennifer Connelly, left, and Russell Crowe in a scene from “Noah.”PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Pope Francis has nixed a meeting with the creative team behind “Noah,” including star Russell Crowe, director Darren Aronofsky and Paramount vice chair Rob Moore, which studio executives had been scrambling to schedule as a photo-op, Variety has learned.

The meeting was never fully confirmed, but tentatively on the calendar for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the VIP section so the Pope could figuratively lend a blessing to the $125 million Biblical epic. The reason the Vatican cancelled it, according to a source, is over concerns word would leak, causing a spectacle as Crowe and Aronofsky landed in Rome.

When reached by Variety last week, Aronofsky said the meeting had been proposed, but it wouldn’t happen if anybody reported or Tweeted about it.

“Noah,” scheduled for U.S. release on March 28, has been criticized by some religious groups for taking too many liberties with the story of Noah’s Ark.

Even though the Pope doesn’t normally screen movies, he recently met with Philomena Lee, the subject of the Weinstein Co’s “Philomena” at the height of Oscars season in February.

03/18/14

Scientists find cosmic ripples from birth of universe

Published March 17, 2014

FoxNews.com
  • bicep 2 cosmic.jpg

    This NASA graphic shows the universe as it evolved from the big bang to now. Goddard scientists believe that the universe expanded from subatomic scales to the astronomical in a fraction of a second after its birth. (NASA/WMAP)

  • bicep 2 cosmic 2.jpg

    Gravitational waves from inflation generate a faint but distinctive twisting pattern in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background, known as a “curl” or B-mode pattern. For the density fluctuations that generate most of the polarization of the CMB, this part of the primordial pattern is exactly zero. Shown here is the actual B-mode pattern observed with the BICEP2 telescope, which is consistent with the pattern predicted for primordial gravitational waves. The line segments show the polarization strength and orientation at different spots on the sky. The red and blue shading shows the degree of clockwise and anti-clockwise twisting of this B-mode pattern. (BICEP2 COLLABORATION)

  • bicep 2 cosmic 1.jpg

    The tiny temperature fluctuations of the cosmic microwave background (shown here as color) trace primordial density fluctuations in the early universe that seeded the later growth of galaxies. These fluctuations produce a pattern of polarization in the CMB that has no twisting to it. Gravitational waves from inflation are expected to produce much a fainter pattern that includes twisting (“B-mode”) polarization, consistent with the pattern observed by BICEP2, which is shown here as black lines. The line segments show the polarization strength and orientation at different spots on the sky. (BICEP2 COLLABORATION)

  • bicep 2 cosmic 3.jpg

    The sun sets behind BICEP2 (in the foreground) and the South Pole Telescope (in the background). (STEFFEN RICHTER (HARVARD UNIVERSITY))

Astronomers have discovered what they believe is the first direct evidence of the astonishing expansion of the universe in the instant following the Big Bang — the scientific explanation for the birth of the universe some 13.8 billion years ago.

Scientists believe that the universe exploded from a tiny speck and hurled itself out in all directions in the fraction of a second that followed, beginning just 10 to the minus 35 seconds (roughly one trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second) after the universe’s birth. Matter ultimately coalesced hundreds of millions of years later into planets, stars, and ultimately us.

And like ripples from a ball kicked into a pond, that Big Bang-fueled expansion caused ripples in the ancient light from that event, light which remains imprinted in the skies in a leftover glow called thecosmic microwave background.

Scientists still don’t know who kicked the ball.

But if confirmed, the newfound ripples would be amazing proof of what has long been mere theory about what happened in those first millionths of a second.

‘[It’s] a direct image of gravitational waves across the entire sky, showing us the early universe.’

– John Kovac, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

“The implications for this detection stagger the mind,” said Jamie Bock, professor of physics at Caltech, laboratory senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and project co-leader. “We are measuring a signal that comes from the dawn of time.”

“It would be the most important discovery since the discovery, I think, that the expansion of the universe is accelerating,” Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, who is not a member of the study team, told Space.com. He compared the finding to a 1998 observation that opened the window on mysterious dark energy and won three researchers the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics.

The groundbreaking results came from observations by BICEP2, a telescope at the South Pole, of the cosmic microwave background — a faint glow left over from the Big Bang.

Beginning a fraction of a fraction of a second after the universe’s birth, according to the current theory, space-time expanded incredibly rapidly, ballooning outward faster than the speed of light. The afterglow from that expansion is called the cosmic microwave background, and tiny fluctuations in it provide clues to conditions in the early universe.

For example, small differences in temperature across the sky show where parts of the universe were denser, eventually condensing into galaxies and galactic clusters.

Since the cosmic microwave background is a form of light, it exhibits all the properties of light, including polarization. On Earth, sunlight is scattered by the atmosphere and becomes polarized, which is why polarized sunglasses help reduce glare. In space, the cosmic microwave background was scattered by atoms and electrons and became polarized too.

“Our team hunted for a special type of polarization called ‘B-modes,’ which represents a twisting or ‘curl’ pattern in the polarized orientations of the ancient light,” said Bock.

The team presented their work at a press conference Monda at Harvard — the discovery of that characteristic pattern of polarization in the skies, which they called proof of the gravitational waves across the primordial sky.

“This work offers new insights into some of our most basic questions: Why do we exist? How did the universe begin? These results are not only a smoking gun for inflation, they also tell us when inflation took place and how powerful the process was,” Harvard theorist Avi Loeb said.

03/14/14

The Book of Esther: A manifesto for Jewish peoplehood

  • 14 Mar 2014
  • Jerusalem Post
  • • By SHRAGA BAR- ON

It is precisely in times of crisis that we ‘lose’ our survival instinct and decide to fight back iEngage

Megilat Esther is the most secular book in the Bible. It is the only story without God in it. So, why was it included as Holy Scripture? Not because it represents the sanctity of God, but perhaps because it expresses the sanctity of shared Jewish identity. Jewishness in the Book of Esther has nothing to do with Torah and commandments; it is about peoplehood and kinship, not on God or keeping commandments. It is a manifesto of Jewish peoplehood. The truth is that the Book of Esther contains not just one story but several, and if we look carefully, we can see that they present different and almost conflicting stories. The first is a story of assimilation. Think about our heroes: Mordechai, one of the nobles of the tribe of Benjamin. What was his father’s name? Shimyi son of Yair, son of Kish – all are Jewish names; yet he is named after the God of Babylon – Mordoch. And Hadassah – the nice Jewish girl whom he adopted? Her name becomes Esther, after a Persian goddess, maybe even a Canaanite goddess originally. These two have achieved the “Persian Dream.” They had a chance for advancement and they used it. When Ahashverosh announced a beauty contest that runs through his bed, Esther was there. The book doesn’t tell us if Esther was taken by force or if she came voluntarily, but it does tell us that she didn’t say anything. If it was so bad to be a Jew, why didn’t she avoid the situation and say that she was a Jew? The scroll tells us that Mordechai “would not kneel or bow low.” Why didn’t he kneel? We are accustomed to thinking that he kneeled only before God, but this is a false interpretation, according to a plain reading of the scroll. It is true, though, that Mordechai bowed low only before the one and only – but not God, because as we’ve said, God is not mentioned in the scroll even once. Who was the one and only person that Mordechai would have knelt to? Ahashverosh. Could Mordechai sit in front of the king’s gate and not kneel to Ahashverosh? Of course not. If he was so righteous, what was he doing there in the first place, eavesdropping on others? Mordechai was looking for a way to promote himself. To whom was he loyal? To Ahashverosh. Why didn’t he kneel to Haman? Because Haman was his personal rival. Haman was a new immigrant or a stranger in Shushan, and Mordechai wanted to be in his position. Did Esther and Mordechai succeed? The answer is yes. They hid their Jewish identity and made it to the very top of the Persian regime. Some Jews told the story only to this point: Jews can make it if they give up their unique culture and identity. Jewish history is full of those kinds of examples, of Jews who renounced their Judaism in order to succeed in a foreign society. But here comes the turning point. Haman didn’t see Mordechai as an individual. Haman saw Mordechai as a Jew, and he wanted to destroy all the Jews. Thus, with a little help from Haman, Mordechai eventually came to understand that he was not only an individual, he was part of a nation. It didn’t matter how loyal he was, there would always be some people who would hate him because he was a Jew. The most ironic scene in the scroll comes when the Jews have been sentenced to death. The megila says that all the Jews, including Mordechai, began wearing sackcloth and ashes. Esther saw that Mordechai was not following the dress code of the king, so she sent him appropriate clothing. Mordechai still could have given give up then. He could have turned his back on his people; he could have taken Esther’s offering and “gotten along.” Yet Mordechai sent a manifesto of Jewish peoplehood back to her: “Don’t imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish.” (Book of Esther 4:13-14) That scene always reminds me of Theodor Herzl after reporting on the Dreyfus trial. Herzl was an 80-percent assimilated Jew. He didn’t hide his Jewishness but didn’t show it either. He was a senior journalist at the best newspaper in Europe. He had made it. But the shouts from the trial audience brought him back to his Jewish identity, and he made his choice – to devote his life to Jewish peoplehood. In the end, Esther did the same thing. She could have remained hidden in the palace. Remember, she had already given up her identity; she was a Persian queen. But she and Mordechai realized that the cost of keeping silent was too high. “You and your father’s house will perish,” the text says. This doesn’t mean that they will come for you; it means that you will no longer be a part of the dynasty, the culture of your ancestors. The result of keeping silent is self-annihilation. From this moment on in the story, Esther became the hero of Purim. She manipulated Ahashverosh and Haman and gained salvation for her people. It is interesting that precisely in times of crisis we “lose” our survival instinct and decide to fight back, to choose a mission. This is one of the mysteries of the human condition. Thank God that today we – the Jewish people – are not facing a crisis like this; we are not in danger. The Book of Esther is an invitation to rediscover our people and to choose again – to choose to belong to the people of Israel and to strengthen Jewish peoplehood. Dr. Shraga Bar-On is a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute who is spending the academic year in the US. Learn more about iEngage at iengage.org.il

03/14/14

Catching up with Ted ‘Golden Voice’ Williams

By 

FoxNews.com
  • Jan. 5: Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, now sporting a new haircut and clean clothes, appears on the Morning Zoo program at WNCI (97.9 FM) in Columbus, Ohio.AP

LOS ANGELES –  Ted Williams went from a homeless man struggling with alcoholism on the streets of Columbus, Ohio to instant Internet fame when a video of him using his radio voice went viral.

The former radio personality and military veteran was placed in a rehab facility courtesy of Dr. Drew (he left after 12 days), penned his biography, and was hired by Kraft Foods’ to voice its new TV campaign. Despite the pressures of his surge to fame, which at one point prompted a relapse, Williams remains steadily employed by Kraft, and tells FOX411 he’s committed to his recovery.

“I’m still with Kraft Mac and Cheese, doing a great deal with them. I’ve also done the Rosslyn Independence Living Center and I did narration for the Military Channel that I’m looking forward to listening to one day,” Williams said. “I’m trying to audition for quite a few things within the voice-over community; they have a number of opportunities that I’m looking forward to fielding when I get out to California.”

Williams is also on the lecture circuit, sharing his story and experience with different groups and organizations around the country, raising awareness about what it means to be homeless, and debunking some myths about the people sleeping under the bridges and in the parks.

“I’ve met some very, very influential people in my years of being homeless. Their backgrounds include some very prestigious positions. I’ve met bankers, and I met a pilot once. He was homeless because he lost his wife of 30 years and turned to the bottle,” Williams explained. “Homelessness can hit any area, any person at any time. With the housing market the way it is, I am sure there is a lot of people who are just one paycheck away from being homeless themselves.”

Williams is on a mission to eradicate homelessness in his hometown of Columbus through his not-for-profit organization “The Ted Williams Project.”

“I’m very much committed to giving back,” hesaid, adding that his current objective is supplying socks to those without a roof over their heads. “A lot of times homeless people don’t have enough socks to last them through any situation. Socks really help motivate someone to keep them moving out of that shelter as opposed to just moping about feeling sorry for themselves. So I’m taking socks to the street. God gave me this blessing and I’m going to pay it forward and give back… Even when I didn’t have anything, I still (tried) to give. Even if it was just a smile, like in that original video.”

Last year, the father of nine narrated the documentary “Houseless,” released by Moto Entertainment, a film production company founded by former Marine Corps drill instructor Michael Nichols. And while Williams admitted that his substance abuse demons still lurk, he remains fully devoted to his faith and using his skills for good.

“I’m still in recovery. But it has been three years since this divine blessing. I am looking forward to taking God’s message and the message of redemption, hope and of second chances, addiction, mental health and homelessness,” Williams added. “I have even had much love from my fellow veterans of the United States Armed Forces, so now it is time that I make use of this. The final transition of Ted Williams, the man with the God-given golden voice, I’m ready to spread the message that true redemption is all that he grants. When Christ fed the multitude, he only had five fish and three loaves, and he fed the multitude of people.”

Emily Sissell contributed to this report.

03/12/14

Nine unopened Dead Sea Scrolls found

Digging History

FoxNews.com
  • new dead sea scrolls2.jpg

    Seven of the recently rediscovered unopened phylactery scrolls from Qumran. (ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY/SHAI HALEVI)

  • tefillin parchment dead sea scrolls.jpg

    An unrolled phylactery scroll. (ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY/SHAI HALEVI)

Nine newfound penny-sized pieces of parchment belonging to the Dead Sea Scrolls laid unopened for nearly six decades before they were rediscovered in Israel.

The scrolls went unnoticed for years until one scholar came across them while searching through the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) storerooms, the Times of Israel reported.

“Either they didn’t realize that these were also scrolls, or they didn’t know how to open them,” the IAA’s head of artefact treatment and conservation Pnina Shor explained.

‘Either they didn’t realize that these were also scrolls, or they didn’t know how to open them.’

– Pnina Shor, head of artefact treatment and conservation for the IAA

The tiny scrolls were found inside three phylacteries, small leather boxes with Biblical versus written on them (calledtefillin) that are worn by Jews during their morning prayers. Their discoverer, Yonatan Adler, had the boxes scanned by an MRI at a hospital in Israel in hopes there would be parchment inside.

He was right.

Once unopened, the scrolls are expected to shed new light on the religious practices of the Jewish people during the Second Temple Period between the years of 530 BC and 70, an era named for a holy place of worship for the Jewish people that was constructed by the builder of ancient Jerusalem King Herod. The Dome of the Rock stands today where the Second Temple purportedly once stood.

At least two dozen phylactery scrolls were discovered in the 1940s and 50 along with the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls in a limestone cave in the West Bank’s Qumran in Israel.

“[I] found a number of fragments of tefillin cases from Qumran Cave 4, together with seven rolled-up [phylactery] slips,” Adler told theTimes of Israel.

Until now, the scrolls remained bound inside the phylacteries for approximately 2,000 years.

The IAA has been tasked with the difficult job of unrolling the scrolls without damaging them.

“We’re going to do it slowly, but we’ll first consult with all of our experts about how to go about this,” said Schor, who would not reveal when the process would start. “We need to do a lot of research before we start doing this.”

Remains of more than 900 religious manuscripts were found in 11 caves near the Dead Sea in the 1940s and 50s in Qumran.

03/10/14

Atheists want iconic 17-foot cross removed from 9/11 museum

Published March 09, 2014

FoxNews.com

Atheists are trying to oust the “Miracle Cross” from the 9/11 museum, arguing that its inclusion would violate the Constitution’s separation of church and state.

But Eric Baxster of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty told MyFoxNY that the cross is part of the story of 9/11 and that museums don’t censor history.

“They tell history as it happened,” Baxster said.

The 17-foot cross-shaped beam was discovered in the devastation at Ground Zero and became a symbol of comfort and hope after the horrific terrorist attack.

But the group American Atheists says the cross is a part of religious history and is challenging its inclusion in the new National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum which opens in May.

“We’re arguing for equal treatment in some way, whatever that might be.”

– Edwin Kagin, attorney for American Atheists

The group said the cross should not be in a museum that is on Port Authority property and financed by taxpayers.

In arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan, American Atheists’ lawyer Edwin Kagin said his organization is seeking a similar object to be displayed at the museum, something like a plaque that would say “atheists died here, too,” the Religion News Servicereported.

“We’re arguing for equal treatment in some way, whatever that might be,” Kagin said after the hearing.

The museum’s lawyer, Mark Alcott, told the court that rescue workers took comfort in the cross and they prayed to it as a religious object.

“But there is a difference between displaying an artifact of historical significance and saying we want you [the public] to bless it — museum-goers understand that distinction” he said, according to London’s Telegraph newspaper.

The newspaper said Judge Reena Raggi appeared skeptical of the claims by the atheist group.

“There are countless cases of museums including religious artifacts among their exhibits and it’s going to be described in a way that talks about the history of the object, what is the problem here?” she said. “An argument has been made that you are trying to censor history.”

Construction worker Frank Silecchia discovered the beam in the smoldering wreckage of the World Trade Center towers. He told the “Today” show that the cross comforted him, and it soon became a rallying point for first responders, according to Religion News Service.

“I was already working 12 hours. I was quite weary and the cross comforted me,” Silecchia said. “I never stood here before any media and said it’s about religion. But I say it’s about faith — the faith that was crushed on 9/11.”

The cross will be part of a display that includes 1,000 artifacts in a 100,000-square-foot underground museum.

The appeals court is expected to make a decision in several months.

03/9/14

Life Lessons from the Bible’s most popular women

By 

FoxNews.com

The Bible often gets a bad rap for being anti-women. The accusation must be made by those who haven’t spent a lot of time in the Scripture.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, it is high time we celebrate some of the remarkable women of the Bible.

Recently, American Bible Society looked at which women in the Bible were the most searched on the organization’s Bible Search tool. The top five most popular women of 2013 were Eve, Mary, Martha, Sarah, and Rebekah. The five women’s life stories have something to say to women throughout the ages.

Rebekah, the wife of Isaac and mother of twins Esau and Jacob, is an example of a woman with an abundance of moxie.

EVE: 2013’s most-searched woman, Eve is best known for giving in to temptation and then convincing Adam to do the same. But Eve, like all of us, was more than her sin. Her resilience is a model for every woman who has faced adversity — even if it is of our own making.

MARY: The mother of Jesus, is a model of faith as she says “yes” to God’s call even though doing so could bring unmerited shame. In a day when a charge of promiscuity could get a young woman stoned, Mary responded with faith and obedience to the news that God had selected her to bear a child who would be the Son of God.

MARTHA:  Perhaps best known as worker-bee sister of Mary of Bethany, Martha demonstrated tremendous faith when she exclaimed to Jesus that their brother Lazarus would not have died had He been present. Even in death, Martha believed that Jesus still had the power to miraculously work in the situation. Every woman who has faced a trial beyond her own power can learn from Martha’s example of faith.

SARAH: The wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac, left a legacy of both faith and fear. She initially believed God’s call on Abraham and His promise to make a great nation through their line. But when the fulfillment of that promise did not come to pass on Sarah’s timetable, she sought to fulfill her desire for a child through her maidservant Hagar. Her impatience with God caused tremendous trouble for herself and her family. Her actions are a cautionary tale for those inclined to rush ahead of God’s perfect plan.

REBEKAH: Finally, Rebekah, the wife of Isaac and mother of twins Esau and Jacob, is an example of a woman with an abundance of moxie.

Sometimes this boldness served her well—as when she willingly left her home country to follow God’s call to marry Isaac. But sometimes this boldness got her into trouble—as when she deceived and manipulated her husband to bless her younger son over her older son.

Rebekah’s life demonstrates the need to regulate assertiveness so that it is a blessing rather than a curse in one’s life.

What I love most about these five women and so many other women in the Bible is that they are truly relatable. They are imperfect beings who try and fail and try again to live a life that pleases God.

Their examples are as relevant to women in 2014 as they would have been in 1014. They are blissfully—and sometimes tragically—human. And God’s faithfulness to them speaks volumes to women today if we will only have ears to listen.

So on this International Women’s Day, consider taking a fresh look at some of the Bible’s heroines. You might be surprised at how much their examples have to teach us today.

 

Geoffrey Morin is the executive vice president and chief communications officer at American Bible Society, where he oversees all communications channels including marketing, advertising, brand deployment and media relations. Prior to his work at American Bible Society, Morin worked in advertising, marketing and church redevelopment. Morin holds a B.A. from Duke University and a M.Div. from Yale University.

03/9/14

Yes, miracles happen. I know because people keep telling me about them

By , Craig Borlase

FoxNews.com, Craig Borlase

What makes a miracle?

A bus driver gets shot in the chest — twice — yet the bullets barely leave a scratch. Why? Because in his front chest pocket is a Bible.

Modern day miracle, or just a great bit of luck?

Whether you believe in miracles — or the God behind them — there’s no escaping the fact that a lot of people have their own miracle story to share.

Miracles aren’t a reward for good behavior. In fact, I don’t even think they’re a reward at all.

I know, because last year, after one little shout out on a radio station, I had 1,500 people write in and share their stories with me at ItsAGodThing.com. And as I read through them all, a few things became clear.

Miracles are not reserved for the elite. I couldn’t find evidence of any kind of grading system that matches the strength of the miracle to the goodness of our souls. Believe me, some of the people that God helped out were major screw-ups. Miracles aren’t a reward for good behavior. In fact, I don’t even think they’re a reward at all.

But they’re not all equal. Some are small, almost imperceptible to all but the recipient. Others are jaw-on-the-floor big, with seemingly impossible events conspiring to bring about an inexplicable change of circumstance.

Like the time a three-year-old girl walks into a jewelry store with her father at the very moment that a robbery is about to turn into a murder scene. Guns racked, the thieves take one look at the girl, realize they’re in over their heads and flee, leaving their hostages unharmed.

Or the letter that makes it from Pennsylvania to Arizona in less than twelve hours, arriving in time to bring a healing smile to an old man’s face on his last night on earth.

My own miracles story was pretty big too.

I was 24, headstrong and foolish the day I went out duck hunting alone. It was the early eighties so I didn’t have a cell phone, and today I look back and wonder why I didn’t bother telling anyone that I was going to a lake I’d never visited before.

I made a dumb mistake when I grabbed the barrel of the gun and gave my dog a light whack to get his attention. The gunsmith had made a mistake of his own by cross-threading the screw holding the stock to the rest of the gun. And when our two mistakes collided the gun went off and I ended up with a hole the size of a small door knob punched through my side.

I fell to the ground, crawled out of the shallow water and laid there alone for hours, a thick fog descending as the sun set.

Nobody knew where I was. Nobody came to look.

I was alone. I was dying.

Then God stepped in.

The chances of my wife and friends choosing the right lake that night, looking the right way as their headlights skimmed my car, so that I could hear their calls and they could hear my faint replies were just too much.

The thick fog parted not once but twice for the helicopter to land. That I made it to hospital in time, was patched up and able to walk again, was more than good fortune. It was a God thing. It was a miracle.

I don’t know why miracles happen to some people and not others. I don’t know why some miracles result in life while others are found in death.

But I do know that the thought of life without those divine interventions leaves me cold. And I know that more and more people sending me their stories, telling me that they’ve been helped in ways that are almost impossible to explain. With volume one of my book “It’s A God Thing” already out, we’re now gathering stories for volume two.

Miracles happen, every day. So when we hear about a bus driver who happened to put a Bible right in the place where a guy would later fire his gun, what are we going to do with that? Are we just going to move on, brush it off as luck? Or could these stories be primers for us to ask our own questions and take a fresh look at the world around us?

Look around you. There are a lot of “lucky” things happening. It’s like the English writer and lay  theologian G.K. Chesterton said, “The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them.”

We have the evidence. Maybe now it’s time to change our doctrine.

 

Don Jacobson is the creator of the It’s a God Thing series in partnership with K-LOVE radio and co-author of Volume Onein the series released in January 2014. To learn more, visitItsAGodThing.com.