This is a guest post by Tate Randall.

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This one is long, I apologize. I'm just real passionate about money. You'll see what I mean. I'm sorry for simply ranting on this so much. I want to know what you all think. I can't help but feel that I'm imposing my interpretations on you all. If you have the patience to read this, please let me know what you think, whether in a comment or in person.



"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6:19-21

With the ever increasing demand for organs such as kidneys, livers, eyes, and skin, some groups are of the opinion that healthy, responsible adults should be able to sell their organs to the highest bidder. I disagree. I think there are at least four very sound reasons for the United States to keep our policies on this matter as they currently are. First, the seller’s life could be put in very real danger in multiple ways. Poor people may never be able to get organs because nobody would remain an organ donor. There is a serious possibility that people could be coerced into selling their organs. Finally, sellers may not get as much money as they were hoping for due to the increase in supply.

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As Bill Bright from Campus Crusade for Christ would say, "The greatest promise of Christ is the assurance that we can walk daily in the power of the Holy Spirit."

The Christian life is very simplistic, yet at the same time, very difficult.  The only way we can acquire the strength to have lifestyles different from those our selfish-sides desire is through the power of the Holy Spirit.  



Intro:
-Jesus of Nazareth is the single most influential person in world history.
-The way we count time is centered around his life: Before Him, and After
-He is a key figure in the two largest religions in the world

-Important: what we know about Jesus… What we Believe about Jesus… impacts everything
-People ask me: “What’s the difference between these two religions?”
-Answer is often: “What they believe about Jesus.”

-There are tons of scriptures we can look at, so we are going to examine just a few.
-We are going straight to the source: we are going to look at what Jesus Himself said.

One day in my college Ethics class, we were having a class discussion about the Muslim faith. The current point of interest was the conflict between Muslims and Christians, and what the potential causes of the conflict were.

As the discussion progressed, a student asked if Muslims hate Christians because they view us as polytheists instead of monotheists. I thought this was a really good question, because this was one of the major conflicts between early Christianity and Judaism: the Jewish Pharisees and teachers of the law thought that Jesus and the church were promoting a religion of polytheism.

Many people promote the concept of world peace - A world without war, calamity, pain, violence, and suffering - A world without evil. We dream of a society in which there are no hardships and no stress to be had. If only we could live without worries, without emotional pain and toil.  Wouldn't that be a perfect world?
Would it?
Although this ideal may be appealing in many ways, I submit to you that it should not be a world that we desire to live in.  A world without evil, could quite possibly be the worst world of all.



Here is my reasoning...

Intro:

-Video: On the street: Sin.

-As you can see, we all know that something is wrong with humanity &the world
-The world is not the way it should be… there is something seriously wrong:
-Tsunamis kill untold numbers of people
-A husband hits his wife
-People hate other people simply because of the color of their skin
-Two guys walk down the street hand-in-hand
-We can just look around and see that something is wrong with the world.

-If a perfect God created the world (as we talked about last week), it was perfect.
Q: What caused it to go wrong?
A: Sin. (Disobeying God)


This is a guest post by Nick Roen.

This is a question that we must answer. It seems like in the church today, everyone is talking about the music:

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"Oh, there's to much drums."  
"Its too loud." 
" Guitars shouldn't be in church."  
"I hate pipe-organs."
"The choir is so cheesy." 
"Hymns are so boring." 
"Why isn't there more guitar?"

 It seems that it is all about style.


But what if worship wasn't so much about the music, but rather about the substance? What if it was actually only about praising God for who he is? Does that depend on the musical style? Personalize this question. For you, does your ability to praise God depend on the musical style that is accompanying your worship? And it goes both ways, both traditional and contemporary. If you prefer guitars and drums, can you worship God to an organ and choir singing traditional hymns? And if you prefer hymns accompanied by a piano and horn section, can you worship God to a guitar driven band? If you can't, then you are worshiping the music instead of God!

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Knowing truth--discovering truth--is a much more complicated concept/process than it appears to be at first glance. Different authors have different views on exactly how one should go about "knowing truth." These views influence what the authors write and publish, and from their works we can discern their individual views on the discovery and comprehension of truth.

Intro
-God is infinite
-Infinitely big, massive.
-We could, therefore, discuss who he is for an infinitely long time.

For this article, we will be dealing strictly with the idea of the Christian God (i.e. the God of the Bible, Yahweh) and no other conceptual deities.

Time and time again, one of the most noteworthy arguments against the existence of God is presented by suggesting this question: If evil exists, how can an omnipotent, loving God exist?

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One might say, "God does not exist. I know this because evil and human suffering exist all around me; because innocent children are dying; because God would eliminate evil from the world if he was really a loving God; because my father suffered painfully for two years before dying in a hospital in Indiana; because tsunamis and earthquakes rip the lives away from thousands of people each year. Why would God allow that to happen?"

Let's examine the concept in more detail. Is the existence of evil directly paradoxical to the God of the Bible?


This is a guest post by Bryce Zeigle.

Job 23:10 "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

So what? The funny thing about the Bible is that we cannot get anything out of it by simply reading. I catch myself just going through the motions, doing the "routine." But once in a while I snap out of it. And here's what I find.

First of all, this passage has a lot of power, Especially because it is coming from one of the most unfortunate men in the Bible: Job. If anyone had reason to complain to God, or to give up or to ask "why me" I think this guy had it. Wow, I try to think about what's going on in my life and I cannot compare.

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The scriptures of the Holy Bible are absolutely vital to living as a Christian in this world, and for eternity.  Without a familiar understanding of God's Word, it is impossible to live by the Holy Spirit.  Habitually studying the Bible fills us with power and excitement to spread His message of love, forgiveness, and salvation.  

These are two online resources that I use on a regular basis to read, study, and memorize scripture.  I hope they are equally as useful for you as they are for me.



Introduction: The Core

-Movie: Explain the scene, or show it on DVD (23:16-27:07)
-They deduce from abnormal phenomena that the Core of the Earth has stopped
-As a result, the electro magnetic field surrounding the earth that blocks radiation will soon no longer function
-Earth will be destroyed in 3 months
-Unless they drill to the center of the earth and restart it.


-If something is messed up with the core, it affects everything else.
-Same with the gospel.
-If we don’t understand the gospel accurately, it can unhinge the rest of our lives.
-So let’s look at what happens when the “core” of the gospel is “stopped”

"I (Greg) have been asked to take on the role of teacher for our youth group over the next 3 months. It is a big undertaking... a big commitment, but I sincerely believe that this is the role that God wants me to volunteer in, at least for this spring. I have already diligently been working on my first couple of lessons, but no amount of human preparation can insure success.