Archive for December, 2011

10 Marriage Resolutions for 2012

Posted by    |    December 31st, 2011 at 5:40 am

  1. Spend more time together. Make a commitment to spend more time together this year. One of the best things you can do is commit to a weekly date night with your spouse. This may take you sitting down together with your spouse and planning out your schedule.
  2. Brag on your spouse regularly. Any old lame critic can pick out someone’s faults; instead focus on pointing out your spouse’s strengths.
  3. Be more sexual. Touch, flirt, hug and have sex together. Make your marriage sizzle, and as one author put it, “A married couple’s sex-life is a great measuring stick of how their relationship is doing.” A healthy sex-life most often equals a healthy marriage. (more…)

Top 5 faith & culture stories: What is the future of American Christianity?

Posted by    |    December 29th, 2011 at 6:45 am

Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove California. View from NE (Credit: Wattewyl via commons.wikimedia.org)The Crystal Cathedral was once the best-known church in America.  Rev. Robert H. Schuller‘s “Hour of Power” was watched by millions on television each Sunday.  The church’s glass structure in southern California is an architectural marvel.  When I visited several years ago, I was awed by its beauty and sophistication.

Two years ago, the church declared bankruptcy.  Last November, a bankruptcy judge ruled that the campus will be sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County for $57.5 million.  The congregation will be permitted to worship in their sanctuary for three years before they must find a new home.

Top 5 faith & culture stories: Why do radical Muslims still hate us?

Posted by    |    December 27th, 2011 at 6:45 am

Members of an Islamist group hold placards outside the U.S. embassy in London on September 11, 2011 during a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States  (Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett)This last week of 2011, we’re exploring my top 5 faith and culture stories of the year.  Yesterday we discussed Tim Tebow, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and the importance of making faith public.  Today we’ll explore the Arab Spring and persecution of Christians in the Muslim world.  As we’ll see, this tragic story has direct implications for our country in the new year.

The major event in 2011 regarding radical Islam would seem to be the death of Osama bin Laden last May.  While I am glad bin Laden can no longer threaten Americans, I remain convinced that recent events in the Middle East are even more relevant to our nation’s future than the death of al-Qaeda’s figurehead.  Here’s why.

A Social Media Christmas by Igniter Media

Posted by    |    December 25th, 2011 at 10:24 am

The staff at YouPlusDallas enjoyed Igniter Media’s take on what Jesus’ birth would be like if social networks were prevalent during that period. This vignette is great for highlighting the truths and circumstances of our Savior’s birth.

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE MORGAN’S 2011

Posted by    |    December 25th, 2011 at 5:40 am

‘Twas the night before Christmas and up before the sun, was Trey Morgan to get his morning run.

The rest of us Morgan’s were all snug in our beds, while visions of the World Series still danced in our heads. (more…)

The Magi learned about Jesus on Facebook

Posted by    |    December 23rd, 2011 at 6:45 am

The Magi Journeying (Les rois mages en voyage) by James Joseph Jacques Tissot (1836-1902) at Brooklyn MuseumThat’s what 30% of children surveyed in Great Britain think.  According to a poll of 1,000 school children between five and seven years of age, 36% have no idea whose birthday we will celebrate Sunday.  It gets worse: nearly 25% believe the answer is Simon Cowell.  Some 25% believe that Jesus was born at Buckingham Palace or 10 Downing Street; only 28% know he was born in Bethlehem.

Could such biblical ignorance happen in America?  As a child growing up in Houston, Texas, I didn’t know who was born on Christmas day.  When I eventually learned that Christmas observes the birth of Jesus, I remember being confused: what does he have to do with Santa Claus?  And why do we celebrate his birth, anyway?

Is America a Christian nation?

Posted by    |    December 21st, 2011 at 6:24 am

“We are a Christian country.  And we should not be afraid to say so.”  With these words, British prime minister David Cameron marked the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible and sparked a national controversy that is making news this morning.

Did he mean that all British citizens are Christians?  In a nation where four times as many Muslims go to mosque on Friday as Christians go to church on Sunday, such a claim would be hard to defend.  Cameron clarified: “I know and fully respect that many people in this country do not have a religion.  And I am also incredibly proud that Britain is home to many different faith communities, who do so much to make our country stronger.”

5 Great Christmas Gifts For Your Kids

Posted by    |    December 21st, 2011 at 5:40 am

Still trying to decide what to get your kids this year for Christmas? How about getting them something that will last a lifetime? Some of the best gifts my parents gave me weren’t gifts that came from a store, but gifts that came from their lives. Here are a few gifts my parents gave me growing up that I’m trying my best to pass on to my children.

1. THE GIFT OF A HEALTHY MARRIAGE: My parents were always affectionate, loving and respectful to one another. Watching how my dad treated my mother (and vice-versa) has taught me how to treat Lea. I wish as parents we’d realize that a vital marriage is the best gift you could ever give your kids. Parents who maintain a strong and vibrant marriage set a positive example for their children. A healthy marriage is better than a cell-phone or an X-Box, and it’s the gift that would really last their lifetime. When children see the way their parents love and respect one another, it teaches them to do the same.

2. THE GIFT OF INTEGRITY: I was taught from a young age that we didn’t lie, cheat or steal. When I did things like that there were consequences to pay. Wouldn’t it be nice today if as parents we’d practice what we preach. I wish we wouldn’t tell our children one thing and then do just the opposite. That has to be so confusing to our children. Don’t ever lie for your kids. When a parent writes a note to school saying their child was sick or had a doctor’s appointment, and really they just over slept …. YOU are teaching them it’s OKAY to lie. Don’t you get it? Don’t lie to help cover up mistakes for your kids. This is simple … practice what you preach!

3. THE GIFT OF DISCIPLINE: This is going to be hard for some of you to believe (smile), but I remember on more than one occasion the principle calling my mom to ask for permission to “paddle” me for something I’d done at school. Always the same response from my parents, “Get him!,” they’d say and then add, “And tell him he’ll get another one when he gets home!” Ugh! No child likes discipline, but it’s necessary for their development as adults. As a parent THE WORST thing you can do for your children is pull strings to get your children out of trouble. Instead, if your child has done something that deserves punishment, let them be responsible for their own actions. Don’t threaten to call a lawyer, talk to the principal or talk to a superior to get your child out of trouble for something they’ve done. Have you ever heard of “you reap what you sow” or you have to be responsible for your own actions?

4. THE GIFT OF LOVE. There are different ways to spell love. T-I-M-E spells love. L-I-S-T-E-N spells love. Love can be spelled T-O-U-C-H. It’s important to touch your children. Nothing is better than one of my children’s arms around my neck, whether they are 19 or 7 years old. Love is spelled R-U-L-E-S. Believe it or not, it really is. Love is spelled P-L-A-Y. Do some fun things as a family.

5. THE GIFT OF SPIRITUAL TRAINING: Growing up, we never left for school without my mom reading us a bible story. Spiritual training was a deliberate part of my parent’s plan to raise children. Personally, I wish as parents we’d see that spiritual training is not optional but essential. Families today don’t need a small dose of God, they need a large dose of God. Children need spiritual training. Talk about God in your home, read bible stories together, attend church together and let them see that God is important to you and a part of your life. Come to think of it, the gift of God is not just a gift that lasts a life time, but it’s a gift that lasts an eternity!

What are some gifts you received from your parents that have lasted a lifetime?

Kim Jong Il and Christopher Hitchens

Posted by    |    December 19th, 2011 at 6:45 am

News of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il fills the front pages of newspapers around the world. Millions of North Koreans had been What did Kim Jong Il and Christopher Hitchens have in common?  In a moment, we’ll ask Hitchens’ younger brother.  But first, some background.

Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 70.  His father, Kim Il Sung, founded North Korea in 1948.  His son succeeded him in 1994.  He lived in a palatial estate, complete with an artificial lake and a racetrack, while his people suffered in abject deprivation.  A nation-wide famine soon after he took power killed two to three million North Koreans.

His regime conducted tests of nuclear explosives in 2006 and 2009; experts believe that it possesses a small number of nuclear bombs.  He considered South Korea, Japan, and the United States to be his main enemies.  As his youngest son succeeds him, what will happen to North Korea’s nuclear stockpile and unstable regime is anyone’s guess.  South Korea’s military is on “high alert” this morning, while Japan’s prime minister has called an emergency meeting of his National Security group.

My Best Christmas Gift This Year

Posted by    |    December 19th, 2011 at 5:40 am

Our Soldier is home for Christmas.

A hug from Mom. :)