Author Archives: Terry Phong
Author Archives: Terry Phong
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Today, the theories of evolution and generally accepted as proven facts – but all the missing links still remain missing and the further discoveries of the intricate designs in nature are quickly swept under the carpet with terms like: ‘the miracle of creation’. Yet many stubbornly refuse to even consider there may be a Creator behind creation.
Onwards & Upwards,
Ian & Sue
A good tracker soon finds where someone or something has been by following various signs of progression. If no evidence is found, the tracker quickly concludes he is on the wrong track.
Charles Darwin (father of the theory of evolution) argued that accumulated small changes eventually lead to new species. If this were so we would be able to track these changes to their origin. However, no fossils have been found to link one species with another – the missing links still remain missing.
Darwin also stated (in Origin of Species, 6th edition, New York University Press, 1988. P. 154), that if it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which ‘could not’ possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, his theory would break down.
As science has developed, we learn that many organs are too complex to be reduced by numerous, successive, slight modifications. Dr Michael J Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University concludes ‘no one … can give a detailed account of how the cilium, or vision, or blood clotting, or any complex biochemical process might have developed in a Darwinian fashion.’(Behe p. 187).
However, supporters of evolution claim that it’s not impossible but merely improbable that organs, such as the eyeball, have evolved. The honest evolutionist will admit their theories are extremely improbable, but conversely they believe the existence of God is more improbable than evolution, so they conclude one belief is fact while the other is fiction based on their gamble of improbabilities.
So what should we think? Since science has come to so many dead ends tracking evolution, maybe it’s time to admit it’s on the wrong track. We should take Darwin’s own advice and bin his theories, then start considering the complex design behind nature and the One who designed it.
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”Revelations 4:11
More and more of the companies are lowering their interest rate, but there aren’t many, if any who will go below the 30% mark, so you would still be paying back $1,300. Just imagine what you could do with that additional $300 or $400 that you had to pay back in interest. Those companies are out there to make money and they are going to stick it to you as much as they possibly can.
Borrowing money from a payday loan company is one of the worst things you can do. You find yourself in an endless cycle of borrowing money just to have to pay back more money. Chances are you won’t be getting off that wheel any time soon. And the payday loan companies are counting on just that.
If push comes to shove try to borrow the money from a friend or relative until your next payday so that you don’t have to pay so much money back in interest. The interest payments are the worst part of a payday loan and there is no way the company is going to waive that fee for you. That’s how they make their money.
Some weeks or months are better when it comes to income, however, if you start saving something out of your paycheck then you can start an account that will help you pay for whatever emergency comes up.
Another negative about those places is that once you borrow the money, pay it back when payday rolls around you more than likely still don’t have enough money to cover you through your next payday. So, what do you do? You go back to the same payday loan company and get another payday loan, that you will again have to pay interest on so that’s another $300 or $400 that you will lose in the second round.
Getting a payday loan might sound like a good idea in the beginning but generally it never turns out that way. Yes, it’s a fast way to get the money you need if you have an emergency that comes up and you don’t have the money on hand to pay for whatever it is you need. But, you should know that when you borrow that money you do have to pay it back– with interest.
The interest rates on payday loans vary from one company to another so you should at least shop around. They can range from 30% to 50% which is a HUGE amount of money. Let’s say you take out a loan for $1,000 just as an example. We’ll go mid-range on the interest at 40% on the loan and keep in mind it’s only until your next payday. Once you pay that money back you will have paid back $1,400– YIKES! That’s a lot more money than you needed in the first place.
What Does the Bible Say About Debt?
There are a number of verses in the Old and New Testament concerning debt, and one of the most noteworthy can be found in Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Romans 13:8 states that: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another”. This clearly states that as a Christian, a person has the responsibility to live a financially stable and debt free life, save for the continued love of his God, and fellow man.
So is debt considered a sin in the eyes of God?
In truth, there is nothing in the Bible that specifically calls debt a sin. However, there are many cautions about debt becoming a source of conflict or problem. For example, debt can become a problem if the source of the need is envy from a neighbor’s possessions or even greed.
According to 1 Timothy 6: 10: For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. And Hebrews 13:5 states that:
Keep your lives free from love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’
These two verses clearly indicate that the cause of debt is sometimes envy of the possessions of others, the love of wealth, and a lack of faith in that God will provide. In addition, the Bible clearly indicates that all debts should be repaid.
According to Romans 13:7, the Christian should: Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then, honor. Also, the Bible indicates that debt should be a temporary state of affairs. For example, in Deuteronomy 15: 1, debts should be resolved or cancelled, within seven years. At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.
In summary, debt in and of itself is not a sin, however, the causes of debt, and the reckless borrowing of money can lead to sinful actions, so the Christian should make every effort to live responsibly.
Could God use you in Internet Evangelism? Could God use you to reach people for Christ via the Internet? The answer may surprise you!
I’m no techie!
” How could I ever use the Internet to reach people for Christ?” you might wonder. “I’m no techie. I know how to send email and read the news online, but that’s about it.” I can identify with that. My technical knowledge is limited. For many years, I was even hesitant to use an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) at the bank, for fear I would do something stupid and it would swallow my card.
Gradually, I overcame my technophobia and began to use computers for word processing. But I used somewhat primitive setups. Only in 1998 did I switch from the rather archaic DOS operating system to Windows because a friend said I should “get with the 90s before the 90s are over!”
What are your talents?
We all have talents and abilities. A key to usefulness is making our talents available to God. Your talents may be in building friendships, engaging in conversations, answering questions, inspiring people, or telling stories. God certainly can use those. Here’s a story that may encourage you.
My own interests involve communication, especially relating Christ to secular audiences. Over the years, I’ve written numerous evangelistic articles to help reach nonbelievers. Several years ago, a couple of friends involved in Internet ministry, Keith Seabourn and Allan Beeber, asked me to send them all my articles so they could put them “online.”.
I didn’t understand all that meant, but they said it would make the articles available free to people around the globe. That seemed like a good thing.
Keith’s website, Leadership University aimed to collect thousands of articles supporting the validity of Christian faith. Allan’s Evangelism Toolbox became an online “Yellow Pages” (directory) of evangelism resources. They helped introduce me to Internet outreach.
Are you ready for the digital revolution?
At a convention in Amsterdam a few years ago, I saw a brochure that said, “The Great Commission is Going Digital; Are You Ready?” That piqued my interest. Maybe God wanted me to focus my energies on Internet Evangelism.
The brochure spoke of the then-fledgling Internet Evangelism Coalition. I started to hang out with these folks– wonderful people– and to learn from them. I began to write more for the web and various articles appeared online.
Another friend encouraged me to do a Google search on my name. I was amazed to see page after page of my articles on websites that I had never heard of!
I also discovered a number of other “Rusty Wrights” including …
a platform tennis player.
a university professor.
a football coach.
a rodeo cowboy.
a racecar driver.
a cruise ship captain.
The simplicity and pervasive nature of the Internet was allowing people to find and use these articles in ways I had never imagined. I could sit with my laptop in my office, on an airplane, or in a hotel room and compose an article that would tactfully nudge people toward Christ or biblical principles. Then, by pushing a button, I could send it to Internet publishers who would make it available to people around the globe.
This seemed almost too good to be true. What a potential for spreading Good News!
A simple prayer.
In August 2003, while jogging one morning, I felt impressed to pray that within a year, I would be aware of 100 websites that had used my articles. (At the time, I was aware of 43.) There wasn’t an audible “voice from heaven” or handwriting on the sidewalk; just a strong inner impression that I should pray this.
A year later, I learned of the 100th site that had used this material. Some sites published the articles and others linked to them. The articles appeared in several languages: English, Spanish, Albanian, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, and Polish. People just kept translating and posting them. It seemed beyond my control or ability. God gets the glory for this.
A surprising number of the sites were not Christian. For instance, one site linked to a version of the article Elvis Has Left the Building which traces fascination with Elvis Presley and its spiritual implications. An Argentine medical school website published a translation of One Minute After Death, about near-death experiences.
Some secular newspaper sites ran material. Personal websites and “blogs” (web logs) linked to articles. I did not contact all these websites, asking them to use my articles. Many content managers simply found the articles on the web and used them.
God’s sense of humor.
I even found one article link on a porn site.
I should clarify. The evangelistic article is entitled Dynamic Sex: Unlocking the Secret to Love. It presents a biblical perspective on sex and love but is written to grab and hold the attention of non-Christians. And no, I did not discover this link by surfing porn sites! I typed the article title into Google. I do pray that many websurfers who go to that site looking for pornography will find Jesus. God has a sense of humor!
Again, God gets all the glory for this. If you have interest, many of these seeker- and skeptic-friendly articles are at Rusty Wright Ministries.
What can you do?
Internet evangelism offers you a dazzling array of possibilities to communicate Christ. Writing articles is just one method. You may want to interact with unbelievers in a chat room, correspond via email, communicate on a blog, design your own website, pray for and/or support web outreach financially.
You can also encourage your church or Christian group to participate in ‘Internet Evangelism Day’. This international focus day program helps Christians learn more about the potential of the Web for outreach. Their www.InternetEvangelismDay.com site explains how to create a short focus program to include in church services or other activities.
The important thing is to ask God what He would have you do. As Mary told the servants in John 2:5, “Whatever He [Jesus] says to you, do it.”.
Ask God to enlarge your borders. He did it for Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10).
Rusty Wright is an author, syndicated columnist and university lecturer with Probe.org who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford Universities, respectively: www.rustywright.com.
Copyright © Rusty Wright 2004. Permission granted to re-use this article in print.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Hebrews 10: 36).
As Christians our goal is to become “mature” in faith. This is meant to be a lifelong process. We will be brought into contact with many doubts and obstacles throughout each given day. Count it a blessing to go through the experiences of this ‘growth process’ while standing firm in faith. The testing and risk God takes is all part of the promise. When we respond with obedience it brings us in line to receive His faithfulness.
I depend upon God’s power working in my circumstances, making it possible for me to stand on his strength alone. For I know that this is what it means to stand on the promises of God; to trust only in Him and believe in His competence. The knowledge of God reveals his promises. It is through these promises we discover life as God meant it to be.
Pray and watch for His faithfulness. Go to Him, and remind Him of His promises, of what he said he would do.
Do not try to twist his arm and persuade him to do something he’s not inclined to do. We don’t say, “Well, you probably don’t want to do this for me, but I would like to ask you anyway.” Be reminded that it brings joy to His heart when His children come to him, when we go to Him humbly. Say, “Please fulfill this promise in my experience today Lord”, and then simply wait, watch, and believe that since he said He will, He will.”.
He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world today. Hold steadfast to the knowledge that our God is faithful. He has left many comforting promises to remind us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. ‘He is faithful that promised’ (Hebrew 10:23).
Point to Ponder: If He says He will … He WILL!
FACING THE GHOST OF THE PAST ( Genesis 32-33).
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac … Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. (Genesis 32:9, 11).
After more than 14 years of separation from his hometown, his parents, friends, and quick disappearance from the sight of his angry brother, Jacob was now claiming his freedom for almost two decades of laborious service under Laban’s tricky hands. Nonetheless, because of God’s faithful provision and protection, Jacob was able to rise from rags to riches, from a mere wanderer into a successful leader of a rising generation– the 12 tribes of Israel.
When he went to Laban, he was empty handed, alone, and a newbie. But now, as he prepares to go out of Laban’s camp, he’s richly full, with four wives and almost a dozen of children, and with trustworthy servants who will accompany and serve them along the way.
Jacob then was blessed and successful.
But mixed to his excitement of leaving his uncle’s camp was a fear of facing his unsettled disputes with his brother, Esau. Of course, he was not intentionally planning to meet with his brother, he can’t do it, he’s so afraid of him, even after decades of separation, no communication and no letter of “Hi” and “Hello”, still the memories of his brother’s vengeful face hunts him.
But now at this juncture, he had no choice but to move on even if he’s in between two clashing rocks. Truly, he’s afraid of his brother, but it’s also a disadvantage and danger to him and his family if they will not go away from his uncle and start living independent of other’s control and tricks. After all, they are now able to do this, having sufficient resources and man-power to stand on their own.
And so, Jacob being naturally witty in all situations planned to go and settle in a place both far away from his uncle and angry brother. This was his plan but for unknown reason, this plan was brought to the hearing of his brother Esau. And worse is they were already on the middle of their journey when Esau knew it. But Jacob can no longer retreat; it’s too late already to do that. Even if he tries to escape and hide again from his brother, but this time, it wouldn’t work to his condition as a family man. If he’s alone, maybe he can do that, but having a big family with young children with them, it’s hard. Thus, the only option is to face Esau, but he must do this in a very cautious way. And so he thought again of outwitting his brother’s emotion by creating means that would directly touch and softens Esau’s heart. Being now a veteran businessman, he knows by experience that a man’s anger is easily pacified if you do him a favor (Proverbs 21:14). And so his first approach to Esau is to send him lots of gifts specially delivered by his servants. Then after that, he strengthened the intention and quality of those “peace offerings” by sending next in line his wives and children but with the exception of her beloved Rachel and their son Joseph. Jacob was hoping that maybe when Esau sees his nephews and niece, his grudge to him would subside.
Now, what actually Jacob did here was a risk. He didn’t know what will really happen for he didn’t have a firsthand knowledge of what will Esau would do. With his long years of separation from his brother, his knowledge about him is not updated, up-close, and personal. And so that’s a dangerous disadvantage for him, considering that the Esau whom he knew in the past was aggressive and easy to provoke. But what can he do? He was cornered and his wits this time were being disabled by his youth-hood fears. But what’s so encouraging about this story is that, when Jacob was at the end of his rope, there he found God. Oh yes, the Lord strengthened him to face and overcome the ghost of his past. And the reason why he was able to face Esau was because he had seen the face of God. His fear of Esau was replaced by his fear of God (Genesis 32:29 -30).
Thus, the principle that we can learn here is this: The power to overcome your fear, to face the ghost of your past is to be energized by the presence of the LORD in prayer and meditation.
Becoming a Christian…accepting Christ as Savior…being born again—whatever words you use to describe or define your relationship with God, they denote a commitment. In aligning yourself with Jesus you are committing to be faithfully obedient to him.
But are you? Are you truly committed? Or is your relationship with Jesus like your membership at the fitness club…in name only? Jesus wants… no… He expects…even demands more from us than a name-only commitment. Time and again we read in God’s Word that to be a Christian is who you are—not what you do.
Life is busy. I get that, but you cannot allow your life to become too busy to recognize, communicate, and serve your Savior, Jesus. Becoming a Christian starts with an attitude of acknowledgement. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ~Romans 1:21 When you acknowledge Jesus as the giver of life and all its blessings, you will be more inclined to…
Give thanks throughout the day. Give thanks for your home as you put away the laundry, empty the dishwasher, flip on the lights, and feel the water run down your back as you shower.
Be more aware of what you allow into your home—tv shows, music, books, social media, etc.. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~James 4:8
Don’t just live life—pray it. Pray for wisdom. Pray for answers. Pray for guidance. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. ~Proverbs 3:5-8
Making time for Jesus in your home doesn’t require you to find extra hours in the day. It simply means including Jesus…making Him a part of each part of your day by:
• Talking to God about the big, little, and in-between things of life
• ‘Testing’ the decisions you make according to what the Bible says
• Recognizing God as the LORD of your life through your faith and obedience to His will
Jesus warns us against being lukewarm (Revelation 3:16). Don’t let this be you. Make time for Jesus all day every day, at home and in the work place.
Today’s blog re-post is courtesy of Free Cristian Illlustrations by Ian Coate
We will all eventually die. If the Bible is correct, there is an afterlife with judgement, heaven and hell. What is our plan to reach heaven?
Many say: ‘Well, I’m a relatively good person – when I die I’ll just hope for the best. Others add: ‘I’ve been baptized, had communion, plus I give regularly to the church and charities – I think I’ve ticked all the boxes.’
It’s ironic that many people, including many Christians, think getting to heaven depends on what they do. When asked about the relevance of Jesus Christ and the importance of the Cross, most scratch their heads; they don’t see a connection between their going to heaven and what Christ did on the Cross. Many people consider the cross simply a symbol of Christianity – a story told at Easter how a good man was wrongly crucified and miraculously rose from the dead.
Fact is, if we could earn our way to heaven by good deeds or religious rituals, Christ died needlessly on the Cross. If we could save ourselves by our works, there would be no point for Jesus to die for our salvation (John 3:16).
The Bible states: we can never be good enough to save ourselves (Eph. 2:8-9) – our works are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6) – that we need to be born-again (John 3:3) – and become a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
To enter the kingdom of heaven we need to have God’s perfect righteousness. This is the whole point of Jesus being crucified on our behalf. If we accept the gift of salvation by believing in Christ we receive His perfect righteousness and are instantly adopted into the family of God. Alternately, if we are hoping our good deeds or religious rituals will save us; sadly, we are in for a very rude shock.
We need the Cross. Christ is our salvation – He is the only door and way into heaven. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
If you are running a home based business, you need to have a domain name and a website. Even the best websites will still look unprofessional if they are hosted on a free web-building site. Domain names are relatively cheap. Pick one that’s related to your business and you will undoubtedly see an increase in sales.
Examine all of the ways your home business appears in the marketplace and be sure you have a consistent message and presentation. Whether it is your business cards, web site or social media business page, keeping your messaging professional and synchronized helps you promote your business appropriately and clearly across multiple channels.
If you are selling products, then you will need to charge your customers the appropriate tax for their state. It is up to you to find out what the state tax is, where they are and add that amount to the cost of the item that they are buying.
When running a home business it is best to join a small business association. It is a great way to network your business as well as get tips on effective ways to manage your business. Another great aspect is that you can hear the mistakes others made and not make them yourself.
Set up online payment options if you are selling any products or services via a website. In today’s shopping environment, users want to be able to complete their entire transaction in one sitting. Even for home businesses, offering online payment options are quick and simple and improves your customer’s experience on your site.
Are you doing the most that you can do for your home business? Chances are, you can find ways to improve if you really care about your success. This article will provide expert advice on how to make the most out of your home business and insure its success.
Hire people to help you. You might imagine that because you’re a home business, you have to do everything on your own and that’s not so. There are number of places that you can find competent, inexpensive help for whatever you need done. Letting other people handle some things frees you up to focus on what you truly enjoy.
To summarize, you might need to take a good look at your home business practices and make sure that you are doing what it takes to succeed. There are always lessons to be learned and new tips to pick up on. Use the advice in this article to make your home business all that it can be.
Take the time to showcase your knowledge of your product to others. Write online articles and put your contact information in them. Search for seminars that you can participate in and think of other opportunities to become involved. The reputation of your home business will increase the more you put yourself out there.
Pay attention early on to your home office organization. In fact, map it out prior to purchasing anything for your office. If you don’t, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed with various folders, shelving units and inbox solutions that will simply slow down your work. Take the time to maximize your efficiency.
Make a budget for your business. Base it on different things, such as, advertising costs, free products or samples and printing costs. Stick to this budget and cut out things you don’t need if you have to. If you can afford to raise your budget you should, at least for advertising.
Most people who start a home business have dreams of huge success and wealth. This is great, but when running a home business it is a good idea to learn to celebrate and get excited about the small milestones, not just the big ones. Small milestones happen a lot more often than large ones. Being able to get excited over little achievements will keep you motivated and prevent you from giving up.
Before starting a home business, be sure to research your market fully. If your product is something that your target market doesn’t want or need, you won’t get many sales. Rather than spending all your energy trying to force the market to buy your product, spend that energy designing and promoting a product the market wants.
Don’t let your home business prevent you from networking. Running a business from home means you’ll have to double your networking efforts. Look for local events where you can show your business off. You’ll meet potential clients and possibly network with other businesses you could affiliate yourself with. It’s a win-win situation.
Create a backup plan for possible problems in your home business. If you are collecting customer data, be sure you have a data backup plan such as an external data storage site. If you are storing physical products for sale, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in case of damage or theft. Consider the problems relevant to your business and plan accordingly.
Business operation information is readily available online. Do not believe everything you read. Review this piece to determine what is fact and fiction when it comes to home businesses.
You should always make sure that your efforts are up to date. If your home business website is new to the Internet, your efforts to build traffic should not rely on old tricks. For example, things like Ad-sense are falling out of vogue, since it is no longer as effective in building a customer base.
Register your home business with your local chamber of commerce. Sometimes it’s hard to advertise a home business inexpensively, but you can become well-known in your community by letting your chamber of commerce know where you are. People looking for your type of business can inquire and get helpful information, which will help you also. And it won’t cost you anything!
Run a contest on your business website. Spread the word about your contest through forums that your customers frequent, contest boards, ezines, guest blog entries and any other methods you can find. Make it fun, keep it simple and devise a prize that is worthwhile, but not over-the-top. Contests bring traffic.
Hopefully, now you feel more informed about what it takes to run your own home business. Your business operates just like a corporation, meaning the more you know, the more successful you’ll be.