Archive for category Current Events

Obama: “We are no longer a Christian nation…”

I normally refrain from political posts on GraceWalk – but I could not believe when I heard this comment from presidential hopeful, Barak Obama. See it for yourself:

This has, of course, sparked a huge debate among Christians and others. Here are some other things to consider:

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States):

Most U.S. adult citizens identify themselves as Christians (76.5 – 78.5% [2][3]). A 2001 survey[2] found 15% of the adult population to have no religious affiliation, still significantly less than in other postindustrial countries such as Britain (44%) and Sweden (69%).[4] According to ARIS[2] and other studies, non-Christian religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and others) collectively make up about 5.5% of the adult population.

From an article called “WHAT WE THINK, WHAT WE BELIEVE, HOW WE ACT” from the Christian Research Institute (see http://www.equip.org/atf/cf/%7B9C4EE03A-F988-4091-84BD-F8E70A3B0215%7D/DP540.pdf):

“The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life poll on American faith showed most people (67 percent) believe the United States is a Christian nation.”

Here’s some things to consider from the other side of the argument. In an interview with David Frost back on May 30, 1997, Rev. Billy Graham, when asked, “Say is this still a Christian Country?” replied:

“No! We’re not a Christian Country. We’ve never been a Christian Country. We’re a secular Country, by our constitution. In which Christians live and which many Christians have a voice. But we’re not a Christian Country.”

What are your thoughts?

God – I know from Your word that You ordain the leaders of nations. I pray that You would have mercy on the United States of America and give us a leader that still believes in the principals that this nation’s founders did when they formed this country.

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“The Witnesses” is coming to Tampa!

The Witnesses Musical - Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center - October 13-14, 2007

You may have already heard about it on Spirit FM (www.spiritfm905.com), but “The Witnesses” is coming to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (see http://www.tbpac.com/shows/show.cfm?recordID=1974 for more information) in October, 2007.

If you’re not familiar with the show, this is actually part two of “The Rock & The Rabbi” trilogy, which began in the Tampa Bay area more than 9 years ago. The original show has toured extensively all over America and other parts of the globe.

The most important thing about both of these shows is how they bring the Word of God alive through performing arts. What people think they are getting is a high-quality, broadway-style musical that is both entertaining and inspiring. What they don’t know they are getting is fed by the Word of God. God’s Word is alive and able to change lives simply by hearing. Faith is increased and people are drawn to God just from having witnessed these shows.

Please come out and support the arts and support the spreading of God’s Word.

There are actually two shows in Tampa, only one of which Spirit FM is advertising:

  • Saturday, October 13th – 7:30pm (Spirit FM’s fundraiser show)
  • Sunday, October 14th – 4:00pm

Hope to see you there (I’m the bald guy with the accordion!)…

peace,
e

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If I Were A South Park Character…

South ParkI don’t really watch the show. Frankly, I’ve tried a few times because it’s some kind of sick cultural icon. Each time I tried, I either quickly lost interest or was offended right away. Perhaps I just picked the wrong moment to view it or perhaps I’m not as cül as I wish I was.

Either way, a friend of mine sent me a link that allows you to create your own South Park character. Now, instead of working, everyone in the office is creating South Park characters for themselves and all their friends.

Now, you can try it…

 

http://www.sp-studio.de/

Eric Jaqua Southpark Character

 

I made one for me simply because I felt somewhat left out. Here it is. Unfortunately, they didn’t have an accordion.

enjoy!

peace,
e

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Paul Potts Surprises Even Simon Cowell

This blog is about Bible reading. However, I’m occasionally moved by a current events story that I must share with my readers. Now, I could go into the Biblical ramifications of how the Bible tells us that when Christ comes into our lives, what was once unknown and less than useful becomes alive and useful in the hands of the Master. But I won’t…

Check out the story of Paul Potts. He was recently the winner of “Britain’s Got Talent”, the UK version of the show American Idol. He really surprised everyone and I think you’ll be touched.

Now – what God does with Him will be interesting.

Enjoy!

peace,
e

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Road Rage Report – May 15, 2007

Road Rage Report - May 15, 2007How interesting! After posting today’s comments on “Gentle Words” (see below), I found this interesting article about cities with the most and the least reports of road rage.

Click here to see the article.

And you thought I was joking about people in the mid-west being friendly compared to my new friends here in the Tampa Bay area!? It turns out Tampa has the 16th highest reports of road rage.

Looks like we Tampians (can I say that?) will need to be extra gracious with our words!

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Today we are all Hokies.

Today we are all Hokies - Hokie Nation

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Speaking of shows…

The Rock & The Rabbi

The Rock & The Rabbi

Hey everyone, I wanted to let you know that the show, “The Rock & The Rabbi” is going to be in Orlando next week (and again in May). And, yours truly is going to be in the show! It’s been more than a year since I’ve had the pleasure of performing in the show, so I’m really excited about it.

For more information, check out: http://theplazatheatre.com/UpcomingShows/UpShows_St.las#rock 

Or, you can check out the show’s official website: www.therockandtherabbi.com

I hope to see you at the show!

peace,
e

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The Witnesses – The New Musical

The Witnesses - The New Musical

Wow, what a week! Perhaps you’ve been wondering why I’m not writing lately.

Not to worry, I’ve been in all day/night rehearsals for the new musical, “The Witnesses” and we had two preview shows this past weekend. We started rehearsing together on Tuesday and did the show on Saturday & Sunday nights.

It was so good to see so many of my friends come out to the show last night – that really means alot. This show is so meaningful to me – it’s God’s Word in theatre, two of my favorite things! – and it’s so cool that we were able to share it together last night. Thank you for taking the time to come out.

If you weren’t able to see it – you really missed an historic occasion. It’s the starting point for an incredible journey – like the other show, “The Rock & The Rabbi” has become.

The cast is nothing short of amazing…all pros, all so very talented. Well, we rehearsed and performed the entire show in a week – that says alot right there. The singers – Neal, David and Aaron – you guys knocked it out of the park! Excellent work.

Danny Hamilton, who wrote all the songs & lyrics, has completely outdone himself with these songs. I’m not sure I can even do justice describing them here – you’ll just have to see the show.

Gary, as he did with the show “The Rock and the Rabbi”, manages to bring us right into the presence of some of my personal Biblical heroes, Peter, Paul and James. As Gary tells the story, it’s almost as if you’re right there as it was happening.

If you’re not familiar with these shows, they’re sort of hard to describe – they have to be experienced. It’s a combination of captivating, edge-of-your-seat storytelling and unique, ecclectic songs from all different genres. Na, that doesn’t help. Well, as I said, you’ll need to see the shows to understand.

If you love God’s word, and if you enjoy hearing the Truth told in new and interesting ways, you’re sure to enjoy them.

For more information, please check out the websites:

– The Witnesses: www.thewitnessesmusical.com
– The Rock & The Rabbi: www.therockandtherabbi.com

To Danny & Gary: It’s a distinct pleasure to work with you on this new show. I know you know this, but what this show does is get the Word into ears and hearts that may not have otherwise heard it. That’s what this life is all about for us. I’m so thrilled to see God work through you guys in this way – and to be a part of it again is a joy that’s difficult to describe.

To the rest of the cast: Wow – you are all so very talented. I’m so juiced about how we all ended up working together on this. You all ROCKED last night! I’m still buzzing. It’s gonna be a great ride and I couldn’t think of any other people I’d rather share it with.

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Gift for baby Jesus

nativity.jpgMy pastor told the following story yesterday in our Christmas Eve service. It really touched me and got me and my girls thinking about what Christmas is really all about. I had to share it with you. 

In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on Biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:

It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger.

Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city.

Following instructions, the children tore the paper into strips and carefully, laid the strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left ussia, were used for the baby’s blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States.

The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy’s manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously.

For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately-until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said, “And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift.

So I asked Jesus, “If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?” And Jesus told me, “If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me.” So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him—for always.”

As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him-FOR ALWAYS.

Misha knew his parents did not love him because they gave him nothing, not even a name.

Misha knew that he loved Jesus… and he knew that meant he had to give Jesus something.

With no money, no possessions, no talents and no future… Misha gave all he had, He gave himself… to keep the baby warm.

Love does that!

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Happy Birthday, Jesus!

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