Her musical genius and showmanship attracts young fans around the world as she pushes past boundaries tested by Madonna. Dark influences from New York’s underground music scene and the performance art world, along with the trumpeting of gay rights and her own raw sexuality lead some to conclude she represents a threat to the moral fabric of society.
Yet one prominent youth ministry leader thinks parents should watch Lady Gaga with their teens.
“She mixes the sacred and the sexual, like Madonna,” observes Walt Mueller, the founder of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (CPYU). “Some in the church will say her music is from the pit of hell,” he notes. “Others will say it’s just music. I find more and more people in the latter group.”
It was a blustery Saturday along the coast of Maine, with whitecaps forming to the horizon’s edge. Jane Dobson received some jolting
Jane Dobson with daughter Kirsten
news that morning, October 2, 2010. A close friend in Wisconsin had passed away the night before.
“She was a beloved sister in Christ, a very dear friend of mine,” Jane notes. “Her husband got up and thought she was asleep, but suddenly he realized she wasn’t breathing.” Her friend Kathleen died from a massive, unexpected heart attack at age 67.
My restless spirit longs for you,
when worldliness keeps me sighing.
Shine your light into the darkness,
I turn unfilled from earthly treasures.
Your truth forever stands unchanging
Jesus, Savior, to you I call
Those who seek you know your goodness
To those who find you, all in all.
I take you in my Living Bread,
real food that fills me deep within.
I drink from you, The Fountainhead,
fill my thirsty soul again.
Your smile is now my joy and gladness
your gift of faith will hold me fast.
© Mark Ellis 2012
My son Sam returned from leading the junior high retreat at Forest Home today. He described the three day retreat as one of the
Sam Ellis on houseboat trip
highlights of his time in ministry.
Not only did eight out of 12 boys pray to receive Christ, but many of the sixth and seventh grade girls also accepted Christ and two 8th grade girls prayed to rededicate their lives to Christ. Two of the boys who prayed to receive Christ had signed up for the retreat the night before they left; they had only visited the youth group one time previously.
Randall Hall was once a free-wheeling playboy who traveled the world, went through women like “potato chips,” and dashed around
Hall before accident
town in his Mercedes 500 SL convertible. Seven clothing boutiques from Laguna Beach to San Francisco provided access to beautiful women ready to lay claim to his indulgent lifestyle.
Then he tried to move in on someone else’s girlfriend one night at a bar in this coastal enclave. The woman’s boyfriend savagely attacked Hall after he left the bar, which left him unconscious, lying face down in an alley with blood oozing from a cracked skull.
Nobel prize winning physician and theologian Albert Schweitzer worked at the missionary hospital he founded for more than 40 years
Albert Schweitzer treating patient
before he saw his first case of appendicitis among the African natives. Cancer was completely unknown when he first reached the interior lowlands of West Africa in 1913.
“On my arrival in Gabon, I was astonished to encounter no cases of cancer,” Schweitzer noted. “I can not, of course, say positively that there was no cancer at all, but, like other frontier doctors, I can only say that if any cases existed they must have been quite rare.”
Chromosome for the Cohen, “priestly” line, shows up in Palestinians
In some of the dry and dusty Palestinian and Bedouin villages they still circumcise their boys after the seventh day. Hidden away in some Palestinian homes are Jewish mezuzahs and tefillin. Some older residents can recall lighting candles on the Sabbath.
Israeli and Palestinian boys
“Many of the Palestinians know it, but it’s not politically correct to acknowledge this publicly among Muslims,” says Steve Hagerman, founder of Turkish World Outreach. “There are two houses of Israel in the Holy Land: one aligned with the West and primarily secular or Jewish and the other aligned with the East and primarily Islam.”
When the northern kingdom of Israel was deported by the Assyrians in 745-702 B.C., most were sent to the east, Hagerman notes. After the Roman conquest, many Jews were carried away as slaves or fled to the west. “Many of the people in southern and central Italy are of Jewish origin, because so many slaves were carried away by the Romans to big estates in southern Italy.”
In the process of my phone interviews with Jane Dobson, one of 10 people on a boat off the coast of Maine involved in the “Mysterious
Jane Dobson (rt.) with her daughter
‘Jesus Photo'” story (http://blog.godreports.com/2011/10/mysterious-%E2%80%98jesus-photo%E2%80%99-stirs-faith-brings-comfort-and-peace-to-many/), she told me about a striking vision she had for Laguna Beach, California, which seems to point toward a revival headed here. It’s not every day that a visitor from Owl’s Head, Maine has such an unusual revelation for a town thousands of miles from home.
Noted Christian author and speaker Hal Lindsey says the ‘Last Days’ are here, as Bible prophecies made thousands of years ago seem close to fulfillment.
Western Wall and Mosque of Omar
“The prophets Zechariah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah all prophesy that, in the last days, a reborn nation of Israel will find itself alone and friendless with its back to the sea, surrounded by enemies with no one and nowhere to turn,” Lindsey says in a recent Hal Lindsey Report. “Does this sound familiar?” he asks. “Friends, those days are here.”
As the perils to Israel seem to grow day-by-day, Lindsey sounds the alarm. “Seldom have we seen a nation face – at one moment – so many lethal threats to its very existence,” he notes.
The recent attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo was one ominous sign. After being incited at a demonstration in Tahrir Square, thousands of Egyptians marched to the Israeli embassy. “Hundreds of them attacked the building, tore down the concrete walls, and breached the consulate. They looted files, trashed the offices, burned the Israeli flag, and came within moments of lynching the six Israeli security guards who remained behind after the entire diplomatic staff and their families were evacuated to Israel,” Lindsey notes.
‘I looked at the sky and declared my atheism…but who was I announcing it to?’
He absorbed the complicated rhythms of the Sixties, which left him drug-dependent and filled with emptiness and pain. But then he encountered God’s glory in a blaze of light so powerful he couldn’t stand — and his life changed unalterably forever.
“When I first heard about the holocaust it was incomprehensible,” says Rory White, who grew up in a Jewish family in Los Angeles. He spent his earliest years in post-war Germany, due to his father’s work as a radiation researcher. He recalls that he played in bomb pits that covered the fields as far as he could see. “They filled with water and we caught pollywogs at the bottom,” he says.