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Showing posts from October, 2016

FROM 'DE FACTO' TO 'DE JURE:’ Part 03

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Finding Legitimacy in an Immoral World
We have learned that ‘de facto’ is a reality and relationship without official or divine sanction. It seeks the benefits and pleasures of said relationship without the commitment and responsibility. De facto is also called ‘cohabitation.’
Yet to live in a de facto relationship is a gamble. From a Biblical view, any sexual relations in a de facto context is considered to be fornication, since it is outside the parameters of marriage. Furthermore, we learned that that de facto couples who eventually get married have a much higher rate of divorce than those who never lived together at all.
A de facto attitude and lifestyle are clearly not options for Bible-believing, Spirit-filled Christian. We are called to a life of commitment, communication, responsibility, and solid relationships based on love, respect, and reciprocity. Everyone who has experienced these benefits endorses them without hesitation.
Dr John Hayward, director of the Jubilee Centre, sai…

LABNEH

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It is as delicious as it is simple to make. Labneh is a thick, cheese-like dip made from plain yoghurt. It is hard to get this wrong and your family will thank you for it.
Ingredients:
1 kg of Greek yoghurt 1 tsp salt
The key to labneh is to get it to drain in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Use the following equipment:
Cheesecloth String Colander or sieve Large bowl to drain water.
Line the sieve or colander with cheesecloth. Lay it in one direction and then another. Place the colander/sieve in the large bowl.
Add the salt to the yoghurt and stir thoroughly. Place all the yoghurt into the cheesecloth lined colander, then pull the edges of the cloth and tie with a string.
Allow the liquid to drain from the yoghurt for 12-24 hours - the longer it drains, the thicker and creamier it becomes. Your kilo of yoghurt will render 500 grams of drained labneh.
Remove, place in a serving bowl, pour a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and dust lightly with paprika or some other favorited herb or spice. Serve…

How Will Jesus Vote in the 2016 US Presidential Election?

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It is an election campaign unlike any other seen in the United States. Yes, like the others, it is long and drawn out. What makes this campaign different is the ‘populism and polarisation.’ Yes, there has been shameless mudslinging: one candidate is called ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ while the other is simply labelled ‘crooked.’ One candidate ignores accusations of being ‘inexperienced’ while the other is accused of being ‘too experienced’ in lying, corruption, and using office for influence peddling. It is an election where everyone has an opinion. One candidate represents a populist revolt of a first-time candidate while the other has been in the spotlight and political establishment for 25 years.
What are we to make of this US presidential election? Can anyone lead the US out of the estranged, highly charged atmosphere that this campaign brings?
Yet, for our purposes, we seek the opinion of the most important One of all. How would Jesus Christ vote in the 2016 US Presidential election?
The…

From Defeat to Victory: A Lesson from Joshua Part 02

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In Part 01, we looked at one of the reasons why life has bends, twists and turns, making the journey longer and harder than expected. In order to minimise and eliminate these roadblocks, it is important to learn and apply the lessons of Scripture.
If you are struggling with unanswered prayer, a roadblock on your normal path, chronically unresolved issues, or a general feeling of failure, read on. You may be experiencing exactly what Joshua did.
One of those lessons is that Joshua and the children of Israel conquered Jericho with ease, even though it was a formidable fortress. However, at their next destination Ai, which was much smaller and thus easier to conquer, they suffered a massive defeat.
The reason? Not the strength of the enemy, but because of corruption in their own heart. Israel sinned because it touched the accursed things. As long as they embraced that which God rejects, He would not be with them and they would fall before their enemies. Whether our enemies are strong or we…

Does Democracy Require Morality?

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For the last 3 months we have been looking at the topic of democracy under threat. The erosion of basic freedoms, a tone-deaf political elite, incremental but increasing authoritarianism, failure to apply the rule of law consistently, resistance to allowing the people to vote on fundamental issues of society - all point a decline in democracy. A case in point was the Australian Federal Opposition’s thwarting of a people’s plebiscite to decide the definition of marriage. The June 23, 2016 in the UK, where the electorate voted to leave or ‘Brexit’ the European Union, was a populist exception to this rule; indeed, the Brexit vote was true democracy in action.
Yet, if we are going to see a return to functional, classic democracy, then let’s visit the question: Does democracy require morality?
Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist’ — Edmund Burke
Democracy is understood to be the rule of the people. This is done through their elected representatives. While it can be time…

When All is Lost - Why Study the Book of Ruth

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The circumstances could not have been more tragic. A Judean woman moves to Moab because of famine in her homeland. After arrival to this foreign land her husband dies an untimely death. Her two sons marry local Moabite girls, but like their father, they also die prematurely. There were no children, either. With no government safety net or church support, or children to send out to work, the situation was hopeless.
What can you do in such circumstances?
Welcome to the Book of Ruth. Far from being a quaint, romantic tale, Ruth is a powerful manifesto of redemption - from tragedy to triumph. When all seems to be lost, redemption comes in and turns everything around -  even more than you can imagine.
And there is more. What was really at stake was not merely the fortunes of two widows - it was the Messianic lineage itself from Abraham to David. The redemption of Ruth restored this broken line. Though a Gentile from a despised race, Ruth became an honoured matriarch who is named an ancestor o…