Friday, November 14, 2008


Persecution still happens. Somehow in our protected little world the thought of it doesn't cross a lot of Christians' minds. It seems a thing of the past. When people think of persecution, they most likely think of missionaries getting eaten by headhunters or Christians being burnt alive in the jungles of Burma (modern-day Myanmar). What a lot of people don't seem to realize is that those things still do happen, and it has never stopped.

Here in America, the worst thing that could happen to a Christian is getting scoffed at by the media or to have someone call them a name. Somehow when this happens, Christians seem to think that it is something terrible and they put the name "persecution" on it. However, Christians in America would very rarely ever lose their job because of their faith, nor would they be put to death for their faith. I am very thankful for the protection that we do have here in America, but this easy way of living a Christian life tends to create a lot of false Christianity. These Christians would turn from their faith as soon as something better turned up or as soon as Christianity didn't seem to be in favor.

I sometimes wonder if you would be more blessed to live under persecution and to have to grow up in the faith through that way than to struggle against the stream of the Western World. There is a lot of persecution going on in the East today. I often find myself wondering if it is not more blessed to live under such persecution where Christians and non-Christians have such a sharp contrast and where Christians are forced to grow up in the faith because they have little or nothing. Wealth, riches, and freedom are often a stumbling block to Christians in the West. They someone think that they did something to deserve what they have instead of how it really is - God, through His grace, providing for us our daily needs.

My thoughts turn particularly to the persecution in India. Hindus have never been all that friendly toward Christians, but after a key Hindu leader was killed, Hindu activists assumed that it was the Christians' fault and immediately started persecuting them. Though the persecution is happening all around India to a certain degree, it is particularly bad in Orissa and Mangalore. Many people have been beat unmercifully, and many more have even been burned to death. Still more people have been put into prison, only to die from the bad conditions. Hardly anyone in the West knows about it, yet it has had catastrophic effects on many, many people there.

In no way am I saying that it is easy to live a persecuted life. It isn't fun to be tortured or to be put to death. These people do need support, and they do need the grace of God to make it through such hard times. Those are not the only people being brutally persecuted. China, as soon as the Olympic games were over, started cracking down on Christians throughout all of China. In Somalia Christians are being beheaded.

Those of us who have the freedom to be able to live a Christian life without persecution should be praying for and supporting our family in Christ. We should be praying that God would use the persecution to strengthen the body of Christ. We should also pray that by the grace of God, these Christians would stay strong in the faith - even in the face of death - and that God would use their circumstances to help them to grow up in the faith.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Folly of the Exclamation Point

The exclamation point.

Something used way too often by some people and used only when it is needed by others.

Using exclamation points is a dangerous trap for many people - especially when they want people to take them seriously. Some people use it anytime they would raise their voice - even slightly. Other people use it whenever they find something to be interesting. In the case of someone writing a paper about something they enjoy, the exclamation point would come after every sentence.
The problem with exclamation points? There are many.
  • It gets very irritating for the reader to realize that if they glance down the page, every single paragraph has an exclamation coming after the last sentence.
  • It starts to make the reader think the author is totally unstable both in emotions and in character.
  • It makes the reader think they're missing something important - why does the author think this is interesting enough to keep using exclamation points? Did I miss something?
  • Ever had someone try to make you excited about something that isn't interesting? You know how extremely bored you get? That's what it is like to have an author SHOUTING AT YOU and trying to get you to be excited over something that is boring.
  • Once the reader figures out the author doesn't seem to have a key with a period on their keyboard, they start shutting down and just get irritated by how poorly the author writes.
  • After this, the reader starts laughing about how amateur this author seems to be - no matter how hard a subject the author chooses.
  • The reader, finally so disgusted with the overuse of the exclamation point, slams the book closed. They then decide that the author's knowledge on the subject is inadequate.

Only one exclamation point per paragraph. Period.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Chiropractor or the Manipulative Osteopath?

There are several things that most people in the Western World seem to be addicted to: chewing gum, talking on phones, caffeine, staying up late and complaining about being tired the next morning, and getting their backs worked on. All the addictions up to getting your back worked on are brought upon your own self. When it comes to injured backs, however, there is nothing that can be helped. It seems to be somewhat hereditary, and it is painful.

Most people, when confronted with an injured back, head straight off to the chiropractor. Others, however, head off to their osteopath. So, what are the similarities and differences, and which one is better?

...try to rid you of aches and pains.

...also put an emphasis on trying to cure respiratory and digestive problems.
...try to keep a person's radiation exposure down by trying to get by with as few X-rays as possible.
...usually have to spend more time with a patient, but the patient doesn't generally have to go back for a second treatment after an injury.

...only concern themselves with aches and pains.
...greatly rely on X-rays.
...usually have to have their patients come back for several treatments per injury.

So, what is the difference? It's all in how they approach how to fix your back.

Chiropractics, on the one hand, move bones. When your back is injured, it is most likely because your spine is no longer properly aligned. Your spine is what supports everything, so that puts pressure in places there should be none. A chiropractic's approach just moves the bones. Unfortunately, the muscles and fasciae that surround those bones have all ready moved to their new location, so when the bones are moved, the muscles will actually just pull the bones right back to the injured location. Throughout each treatment, the muscles are slowly moved to where they need to be again.This is why it often takes several treatments to finally get the bones where they need to be.

Osteopaths, on the other hand, work on the actual muscles. They will work to bring the muscles to where they need to be and not worry so much about the bones. This causes the muscles to pull the bones to where they need to be. With the muscles all ready in place, there is really no need to worry that everything will "spring back." These muscles pulling the bones back in place often leave the patient rather sore, but the results are often much better.

So, for your next back injury, what will you do?