Ones we have given away the most in recent years include::
The Weight of Glory , A Grief Observed, & The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis (and many of his other works)
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
No Compromise by Keith Green
2 Name a work of religious art you'd like to live with: about anything from Thomas Blackshear
or Thomas Kinkade
or Greg Olsen
but especially these prints!
(btw- If you click these images you will go to the stores where you can get them yourself. :)
3. Name your favorite Christian artist: 2000 years of paintings, frescoes, icons and sculptures is rather a lot to choose from! I don't think I have a single favorite.
the Vatican alone is just full of great stuff... Just a short list of names: Durer, Bellini, Van Eyck, DaVinci, .... See what I mean?
PS: Found this virtual exhibit on images of Jesus through the Centuries while looking for artists links
4. Name a work of Christian fiction which has penetrated your real life:
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
5. Name your favorite Christian Musical Artists:
bro. John Michael Talbot, Michael Card, Keith Green, Lamb, Carman, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Kol Simcha, Maranatha band, David Meece...
Did you know you can listen to Christian music online?
6. Name your favorite musical: The best of all time is Fiddler on the Roof, no question in my mind! & I was deeply impacted at a young age by musicals like Man of La Mancha, Camelot, The Sound of Music , and West Side Story as well - but, I'm a sucker for humor, which makes -in practice- musicals like Singing in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, & Mary Poppins my favorites. Sad, I know.
7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh: No joke can always make me laugh but here's one I enjoyed lately-
Q: How does a home schooler change a light bulb?
A: First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light.
8. Any Thoughts for the Day?
I received a version of this along with some jokes in an email recently. IMHO, it had some value, but it needed work. For starters, the original has a 'blessed are you _when you do something bad' format. This being from the Enemy's pov, one supposes. No, that being doesn't bless anyone. He may sneer in what passes for humor with him as he sees you unbless yourself, but seriously people, demons HATE everyone. They don't respect good people, but they don't like evil people either. They regard even their worshipers as useful fools.
But I felt it was worth passing on, so here it is....
If the devil were to write his beatitudes, they would probably go something like this:
1. Unblessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week, (let alone once a day) with Christ in prayer and praise - they save me the effort of trying to keep them from God's blessings.
2. Unblessed are those Christians who wait to be asked to go anywhere or do anything - and then look for constant praise from the other men and women in their congregation - as long as they seek their glory from mankind, its pretty easy to keep them from working for God.
3. Unblessed are the touchy who stop going to their church and then tell everybody why their quarrel means believing Christians are no good- they are my missionaries.
4. Unblessed are the trouble makers & (most especially) the lying accusers- they shall be called my children.
5. Unblessed are those who will not pray, read, or meditate on God's Word for themselves - and claim to know the gospel better than those who do.
6. Unblessed are those who focus on the teacher/priest/minister's clothing, accent, mannerisms, or mistakes - for they get nothing out of his sermons.
7. Unblessed are the church members who judge other members as too poor, too rich, too weird, too worldly, too unfashionable, too far off doctrinally, too liberal-minded, or too fundamentalist to welcome and love (as Christ requires) - for they are a part of the problem instead of the solution.
8. Unblessed are those who gossip & complain - for they shall cause strife and division - that pleases me - because it hurts Jesus.
9. Unblessed are those who are easily offended - for they will soon get angry and quit.
10. Unblessed are those who have nothing to give towards God's work to bless, teach, or provide necessaries of life to others in the kingdom - but plenty for games, movies, vacations, fashions, ambitions, and other pleasures - for they promote my work instead.
11. Unblessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister - for he shall be with me forever.
Unblessed are you when men shall praise you as 'with it' and 'cool', because you made them feel great about keeping the prejudices, lusts, and the other sins that are ruining their lives. Unblessed are you when you join in judgment on the servants of God because they 'embarrass' you before your unsaved friends or jeopardize your worldly ambitions. Cry and be exceedingly sad, for small shall be your reward in heaven. Christ, in his turn, shall also be ashamed of you.
I think I understand why Christ chose to accentuate the positive
lets balance this with the real thing
Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he ascended a mountain: and when he was seated, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.[Wb 1833 ed]
A poster we have with 'the Beatitudes' stops right there. But some prayer books, plaques, and such go a bit longer...
11 Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt hath lost its savor, with what shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot by men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a close vessel, but on a candlestick: and it giveth light to all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. [Wb 1833 ed]
Most of the quotes called the Beatitudes have stopped by this point, but the Beatitudes are a part of the Sermon on the Mount which goes on for quite a bit longer.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
18 For verily I say to you, Till heaven and earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever shall do, and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21 Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire.
23 Therefore if thou shalt bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother hath aught against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25 Agree with thy adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26 Verily, I say to thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
27 Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say to you, That whoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29 And if thy right eye shall cause thee to sin, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30 And if thy right hand shall cause thee to sin, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
31 It hath been said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say to you, That whoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of lewdness, causeth her to commit adultery: and whoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery.
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform to the Lord thy oaths:
34 But I say to you, Swear not at all: neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King,
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea, Nay, nay: for whatever is more than these cometh of evil.
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
39 But I say to you, That ye resist not evil: but whoever shall strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41 And whoever shall constrain thee to go one mile, go with him two.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy:
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them who love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen by them: otherwise ye have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 Therefore, when thou doest thy alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Verily, I say to you, they have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thy alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself will reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Verily, I say to you, they have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret, will reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Therefore be ye not like them: for your Father knoweth what things ye need before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14 For, if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. Verily, I say to you, they have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou mayest not appear to men to fast, but to thy Father, who is in secret: and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
0 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thy eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light.
23 But if thy eye be evil, thy whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say to you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by anxious care can add one cubit to his stature?
28 And why are ye anxious for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow? they toil not, neither do they spin?
29 And yet I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clotheth the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore be not anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or, with what shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34 Therefore be not anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be solicitous for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is its own evil.
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and the measure which ye give, shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thy eye; and behold, a beam is in thy own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thy own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
6 Give not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened to you:
8 For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, the door shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, who, if his son shall ask bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he shall ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
12 Therefore all things whatever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in by it.
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there are that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits: Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles:
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them,
21 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out demons? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. [Wb 1833 ed]