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Maranatha's contribution this week. She writes on several sites, but I'll list this one for now. Maranatha's Triond profile. Lyrics Study: There’s a Hand on My Shoulder
Sandi Patty is undeniably one of the great Christian vocalists of all time. In her personal life, however, even she struggled with sin. This song describes the loneliness of that low place – and the recognition of where help lies.
One of the gospel greats of all time, Sandi Patty, recorded a song titled “There’s a Hand on My Shoulder” that could have been a description of portions of her own life – or mine, or yours. She came to that familiar place where everything was going well, and she relaxed her vigil over her own heart. The temptation to sin is always right there next to us, and it wasn’t long before she drifted into it. In the song, she recognizes too late where she is, and the loneliness of her position is overwhelming. The song is a poignant reminder that God is still with you, no matter what. Here is an excerpt:
“My heart’s breaking up inside me How could anyone feel so alone? Tears flow, pouring from my sorrow No one here but me knows I’m alive. And the thunder rolls in me, as the rain falls endlessly - Who can save me from my life? Read more in Christianity « The Shrine God Fiction or Non Fiction »
There’s a hand, a hand on my shoulder Through the storm, however it blows There’s a hand, a hand on my shoulder, Stays with me wherever I go.”
Nobody is immune to the attraction of sin. Temptation comes in all types and forms, and is different for each of us. Guarding our hearts from temptation continues daily – sometimes hourly. It is not during the battles that most of us slide away from God’s will; it is during the respites, when life is good and everything is going our way. We relax our guard, enjoy the ride a little. For most of us that also means our prayers taper off a little, our study slows, and our thoughts tend to center more on the ride and less on the Creator. This is when we are most vulnerable to temptation, because we don’t see it coming until we have already stepped in its zone. Sometimes the battle to pull ourselves out can be excruciatingly lonely.
Remember, when you get to that lonely place, that it is you who left God – not the other way around. He is still there, right next to you with a hand on your shoulder. If you turn toward Him, He will show you the way out and bring you back to a place of blessing. Remember too that you are not alone in this place. Every one of us has been there. Talk to any mature Christian and you will find a supporter who understands from experience your situation.
You can weather the storm, however it blows. God promises in His word that no matter what the situation, He will provide a way out of it. He also promises that He will never leave or forsake you, and that you are His forever. Feel the Hand on your shoulder, and turn toward it. Get back to your prayer life, start studying the Bible and seeking to understand it, and get back in the company of solid, mature Christians who can support and uplift you. This is the way you “armor up” to continue the battle of guarding your heart.
Steve has been generous to be a regular contributor to the Sunday Express, this is from a different publishing site than my mainstay site so here is his hub page profile below. Stephen Ardent at Hub Pages. Talking to Atheists By StephenJArdent Serious discussion
If you're going to have a serious discussion with someone regarding God, Jesus Christ, the Church, et al, there some things you need to do and keep in mind whether you are talking to an atheist, an ex-christian, or an agnostic. Logical Arguments & Strawmen
The first thing you need to do is increase your knowledge. If you are not already familiar with what makes something a logical argument and what makes something a fallacy, then it's time to bone up. If you don't know you may make the mistake of making an argument, which may be perfectly valid, but which does not follow the laws of logic. You will then be ridiculed for lacking critical thinking skills and the discussion will be over. Here are some basic types of fallacious or illogical thinking so you may recognize them before you use one or if one is used against you.
* Ad Hominem - which means "against the man". Commonly called an "ad hominem attack". A speaker will say something, the second speaker will attack the the first speaker in some way with the conclusion being that what the first speaker said is wrong. The fallacy is that regardless of what is said about the first speaker, it bears no relevance to whether what he said is true or not. * Argumentum ad verecundiam - the appeal to authority. Stating something is true simply because someone who is recognized as "an authority" says it is. * Argumentum ad populum - the appeal to numbers. Stating something is true simply because a lot of people say it is. * Petitio Principii - also know as "begging the question". This is where a question is raised where some statement that is part of the question is assumed to be true. For example - have you stopped beating your wife? It assumes facts that are not in evidence. It assumes a truth that is not yet proven. * Argumentum ad ignorantiam - also know as the "burden of proof". This is a fallacy that says because we cannot prove "A" therefore "B" is true. * Genetic fallacy - this fallacy happens when there is perceived to be a problem with the origin of either a statement or a piece of evidence and because of this problem the fallacy states that the evidence is therefore not true. * Strawman - in the strawman fallacy an opponent will repeat your statement or evidence, but change it slightly, sometimes extremely, but this change turns your statement into a strawman, since it is no longer what you actually said or the evidence you presented. It is called a strawman because once it is changed your opponent quickly and with little problem shoots your evidence down. Don't let them anyone get away with re-stating things in manner which changes them
When we say something is moral or good, or evil and bad, we usually mean that it is absolute. That such an act is good or evil, for all people, any where, any time. The problem is that to the atheist, this is not the case. Morality, good and evil, are simply whatever happens to be current societal whim. The current societal norm becomes the standard by which every thing is measured.
The most moral man to the atheist is the man who is the biggest conformist.
To think, or to try and argue any other position is simply delusion. Whether that argument says that some moral may be for evolutionary good, or socially good, the argument quickly breaks down that a) evolution as defined is a process, it wants nothing, it has no goals, and therefore has only the basest of standards; and b) it makes the assumption that survival of the species, or efficiency of the species is a good thing. But how does one determine that? By what standard is survival good? Why is life good?
For the evolutionist, it isn't. It simply is. Level Playing Field
People go through life picking up all kinds of assumptions about a lot things. Many times these assumptions are wrong. Before one can have a serious, and honest, discussion about Christianity we must make sure that wrong assumptions, wrong "facts", are dealt with. By "dealt with" I mean that we must make the other person aware that we do not accept their assumption as valid without proof. Their assumptions are not evidence of anything. Here are some examples of assumptions that people have regarding Christianity and the universe that are assumptions, not facts in evidence.
* Evolution has been proven. * The origin of life has been proven. * That faith is blind. * That there is no evidence Jesus ever existed. * That Galileo was persecuted by the church because he thought the Earth revolved around the Sun. * That Hitler was a Christian. * That Christianity is responsible for more suffering, wars, and bloodshed that anything else in the world. * The Bible is full of proven contradictions. * That millions of people died in the Inquisition. * That millions of people were burned at the stake as witches.
None of these things have been proven true, several are outright provable lies. Which is why we must not allow the person we are speaking with to set the terms, we must not allow the other person to litter the playing field with bogus "facts".
Learn the assumptions the other person is bringing to the table and don't let them force their assumptions on you or the discussion.
It is the only intellectually honest way to debate.
KAREN GROSS'S SUNDAY ONE LINERS!! - God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. - most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity. - Man's way leads to a hopeless end, God's way leads to an endless hope. - Never give the devil a ride, he will always want to drive. - The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us. - He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.