Thursday, July 31, 2008




Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Churches Work on Their Message


It has long been a challenge for Christian pastors:

To spread the gospel, they must welcome nonbelievers without judgment. Yet they must also make clear that there is but one true path to salvation -- the path they teach.

As the Rev. Mark Roessler of Tucson, Ariz., put it: "The church itself has to be real inclusive -- 'Y'all come!' -- but real exclusive on how you get to heaven."

Tensions about how to achieve that balance have flared in the past decade with the growth of "seeker friendly" churches that emphasize inclusiveness -- in part by going easy on the Scripture, with sermons as likely to quote Hollywood as the Gospel.

Conservative pastors raised fresh concerns about the seeker-friendly approach with the recent release of a massive survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The survey, widely promoted as an authoritative overview of religious values in the U.S., found that Americans believe deeply in God. But when it comes to doctrine, Americans are strikingly flexible.

Some 70% agreed with the statement that "many religions can lead to eternal life." That includes 57% of evangelicals, who traditionally put great emphasis on the Christian teaching that a personal relationship with Jesus is required for salvation.

Another surprise: Nearly 70% of Americans, including 53% of evangelicals, told pollsters that "there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion."

What does this all mean?

Well, it could mean the survey is flawed. Respondents had to pick from a multiple-choice menu; there was no room for nuance or qualification. Also, the terms may have been vague: If Baptists agree that "many religions can lead to eternal life," are they thinking of Buddhists and Muslims, or fellow Christians -- Methodists, maybe?

Another potential flaw: Only a quarter of the people contacted for the Pew survey answered the questions. Robert Wuthnow, director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, called the methodology "sloppy" for that reason. "Results from any survey with only a 24% response rate need to be considered with extreme caution," Mr. Wuthnow said.

Pew research fellow Gregory Smith said the rate was "not out of line" with other respected national polls.

Despite the critiques, many conservative Christian pastors accept the broad conclusions of the Pew study, because the poll's findings mirror trends they have been observing with alarm for years.

"Most individuals think the truth can be what they want it to be," said the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a leading voice on the religious right. "That represents a tremendous challenge."

Catholic priests, too, face a great challenge in retaining and strengthening their parish memberships. The Pew study found that about 10% of Americans have left the Roman Catholic Church; dioceses are experimenting with ways to keep young professionals, Hispanics and immigrants, among others, from straying to Protestant churches.

In the Protestant community, traditionalists object to much about the new wave of seeker-friendly churches: the permissive dress code -- not only jeans, but shorts and flip-flops are often OK. The "messages" (never sermons) jazzed up with video clips and hard-rocking nine-piece "praise bands." The Starbucks cart that often sits in the lobby (and the fact that worshippers can take their nonfat lattes into the pews). Their biggest concern, however, is with the spiritual teachings.

Most seeker-friendly churches -- some of which can draw tens of thousands of worshippers -- are firmly rooted in Christianity. They offer weekly Bible-study classes and make clear in their statement of faith that Jesus is the only way to heaven. But the sermons tend to be buoyant, hip and dedicated to self-help themes, rather than theology.

More conservative, traditionalist pastors say that approach opens the door to a mushy secularism, or a la carte theology, in which worshippers pick and choose from the messages they find most helpful, without ever understanding that Christianity requires obedience to certain inflexible principles.

James Nieman, a professor of practical theology at Hartford Seminary, describes the clashing philosophies this way: A seeker church teaches general "morals for good stewardship and safe living," he said, while the more conservative approach is to instruct followers to "Believe the following things about Scripture."

Scot McKnight, a professor of religious studies at North Park University in Chicago, attends a seeker-friendly megachurch -- and says the stereotype is far from accurate. A worship service can be inviting and engaging without being superficial, he said, adding that "shallow Christians" exist in every church. Yet his pastors at Willow Creek Community Church recently concluded after an internal study that they were more successful at attracting and pleasing new members than in guiding committed Christians to a deeper understanding of their faith. The church has begun an intensive midweek course in theology and Scripture.

The Rev. Ken Baugh, who leads a California megachurch, also plans to put more emphasis on scriptural understanding in a series of sermons and Bible studies this fall. He doesn't think he has slighted the Gospel in the past by sprinkling his sermons with pop-culture references, such as an imagined dialogue between Jesus and teen pop star Miley Cyrus. But the Pew study reinforced what Mr. Baugh had already come to believe: "We as a church have let [Christians] down." Mr. Baugh added: "I feel a great responsibility to equip them better."

This renewed determination to bring the flock more firmly into the fold raises other questions. If pastors hammer home the message that theirs is the one true path, will that encourage prejudice and intolerance -- "will it necessarily bring more finger-pointing attacks?" asked Robert Millet, who teaches Mormon doctrine at Brigham Young University in Utah.

Also, is it even possible, in the age of Google, to clamp a lid on spiritual exploration? Americans are accustomed to second-guessing their doctors, their financial advisers and their daily newspaper by researching topics online. "So why should they trust their eternal existence to the clergy?" asked Doug Wead, who advised President George H.W. Bush on evangelical outreach.

The Rev. Mark Dever considers such questions beside the point. He takes pride in giving what he calls "sermons for adults" -- dense with Scripture, lasting as long as an hour -- in a stripped-down service at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. He says his approach builds solid, grounded Christians who hold firmly to their faith.

But he says he doesn't feel alarm that many Christians see other faiths as equally valid. "Jesus promised the church will win," Mr. Dever said. "So there's no crisis. He's going to win."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This week, a global bid to connect Muslims and Christians

by Jane Lampman
The Christian Science Monitor

Top-tier religious leaders in the Muslim world are emerging as major proponents of dialogue with Christians and other world faiths. With two distinct initiatives this month, they are breaking new ground and sending signals to Muslims and others globally that interreligious understanding and joint action are Islamic values.

Those involved see the initiatives, if sustained, as breaking down misperceptions, strengthening mainstream religious voices on the world stage, and diminishing the influence of extremism.

This week, Yale University hosts the first of four meetings between prominent Muslim and Christian leaders from across the globe, with discussions rooted in foundational principles of the two faiths. The conference beginning Tuesday is the first fruit of "A Common Word between Us and You," the letter sent last fall by 138 Muslim leaders from 40 nations to the leaders of the world's Christian churches.

It follows a separate initiative, held earlier in July in Madrid, called by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who surprised the world by urging 200 Muslims, Christians, Jews, and people of Eastern religions to gather together for purposes of dialogue and reconciliation. While some people expressed skepticism because of the Saudi kingdom's continued restrictions on other faiths, many conferees were encouraged.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fourteen-year-old Sikh girl wins High Court battle to wear religious bangle at school

A Sikh teenager who was barred from school for wearing a religious bangle regarded as a ‘handcuff to God’ was discriminated against and should be allowed to return to classes, a judge has ruled.

Sarika Watkins-Singh was excluded after insisting she be allowed to wear the Kara – a bracelet worn by many Sikhs as a symbol of faith – despite her school’s ban on jewellery other than wristwatches and ear studs.

The 14-year-old, who had been a prefect at her school in South Wales, said tearfully that she was ‘overwhelmed’ by her High Court victory and described herself as a ‘proud Welsh Punjabi Sikh girl’.

The ruling means no school can stop a Sikh pupil from wearing the Kara to classes.

The High Court has previously refused to uphold a teenager’s right to wear a chastity ring at school as an expression of her Christian faith and a 13-year- old Roman Catholic girl’s right to wear a crucifix on a chain.

But Mr Justice Silber said today that the Kara fell into a ‘very exceptional’ category of religious jewellery and that Aberdare Girls’ School had discriminated against Sarika on the grounds of race and religion over her half-inch wide, plain steel bangle

While not a requirement of her religion, he accepted the Kara was of ‘exceptional importance’ to Sarika’s racial identity or religious belief.

The judge said there was ‘no evidence’ that the wearing of a crucifix was regarded in the same way as the wearing of the Kara.

‘In other words the school is not justified in having any fear that granting an exemption to the claimant to allow her to wear the Kara would create any further exemptions,’ he said.
However, it has been claimed that the judgment could lead to legal challenges, particularly relating to ‘unobtrusive’ items of religious significance.

Julia Thomas, head of legal services at the Children’s Legal Centre which supported Muslim schoolgirl Shabina Begum in her unsuccessful attempt to be allowed to wear the jilbab – head to toe religious dress – at school, said she thought it would anger those who had fought to wear religious items and failed.

‘There are devoted Catholics who would regard wearing a crucifix as just as important, and there was the recent case of the young lady wanting to wear a chastity ring.

‘I think there could be a little bit of a problem there with the judge interpreting religion and making an assumption which is possibly not justified.’

Sarika, her 38-year-old mother Sinita and stepfather Satnam Singh, welcomed the ruling.

‘I am overwhelmed by the outcome and it’s marvellous to know that the long journey I’ve been on has finally come to an end,’ said Sarika outside the court in London.

‘I’m so happy to know that no one else will go through what me and my family have gone through.’

Sarika, whose Welsh father, a Christian, died when she was a baby, was the only Sikh pupil at her 600-pupil school.

She was 13 and had worn the Kara for two years when a teacher asked her to remove it in April last year because it contravened uniform policy.

She requested an exemption but was told she could not attend classes wearing the bangle and was taught in seclusion then excluded. In February she joined Mountain Ash Comprehensive, which allows her to wear the Kara.

Her mother said that although it was a good school, the education of her daughter, an A and B-grade student, suffered as a result of the move.

She added it had been Sarika’s decision to fight the case.

Aberdare Girls’ School has agreed to take Sarika back in September, but her mother said her daughter needed time to think about that.

‘The hardest thing for me is she is going to look back at her schooldays and remember this, it will never go away,’ she said.

Mr Justice Silber said the Kara – narrower than many watch straps – was regarded universally by practising Sikhs as an important part of their religious observance.

An Aberdare school governor’s attitude that wearing it was roughly similar to displaying the Welsh flag in that it engendered emotion was ‘seriously erroneous’, the judge said.

But he stressed that the judgment was ‘fact-sensitive’ and that there was an ‘enormous difference’ between the ‘unostentatious’ Kara and a very noticeable garment such as the Muslim niqab or jilbab.

However, Anna Fairclough, legal officer for the human rights group Liberty who was representing Sarika, said the judgment could have an impact in potential future cases.

The governors and head of Aberdare Girls’ School said: ‘The decision to defend this action was taken after careful consideration by all concerned, and in good faith.

‘Should Sarika wish to return to school in September, in accordance with the judgment, she will be offered help and support to reintegrate her into the normal day-today life of the school.’

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Unitarianism is an open-minded and individualistic approach to religion that gives scope for a very wide range of beliefs and doubts.

Famous Unitarians
Louisa May Alcott, writer of Little Women ©
John Quincy Adams - US president
Louisa May Alcott - children's writer
P. T. Barnum - circus owner
Béla Bartók - composer
Charles Dickens - novelist
Dorothea Dix - social reformer
Ralph Waldo Emerson - writer and thinker
Elizabeth Gaskell - novelist
Edvard Greig - composer
Sylvia Plath - poet
Mary Wollstonecraft - feminist
Christopher Reeve - actor
Tim Berners-Lee - creator of the world wide web
Pete Seeger - musician
Lord Bullock - historian

Unitarianism at a glance
There are about 7,000 Unitarians in Great Britain and Ireland, and about 150 Unitarian ministers. There are about 800,000 Unitarians worldwide.
Unitarianism is an open-minded and individualistic approach to religion that gives scope for a very wide range of beliefs and doubts.
Religious freedom for each individual is at the heart of Unitarianism. Everyone is free to search for meaning in life in a responsible way and to reach their own conclusions.
In line with their approach to religious truth, Unitarians see diversity and pluralism as valuable rather than threatening. They want religion to be broad, inclusive, and tolerant. Unitarianism can therefore include people who are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Pagan and Atheist.

Unitarianism has no standard set of beliefs
Unitarians believe that religious truth is not necessarily or primarily laid down either in scriptures, by a holy person or by a religious institution.
no individual or group in Unitarianism makes an exclusive claim to the truth.
within certain core values each Unitarian can believe what they feel is right .
Unitarians are so called because they insist on the oneness of God and because they affirm the essential unity of humankind and of creation.
Unitarians believe religion should make a difference to the world, so they are often active in social justice and community work.
Unitarianism grew out of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century CE and started in Poland and Transylvania in the 1560s .

Unitarians have adopted the Flaming Chalice as the symbol of their faith;
The Unitarians were the first church in Britain to accept women as ministers, in 1904
Unitarians welcome gays and lesbians in their ministry and support equal rights for gay people within the Church and in society at large

A heretical religion?
Early Unitarians felt that the language of the Bible spoke clearly of "one God". Because of this they felt that the traditional Christian idea of God being a Trinity was wrong.
From the viewpoint of mainstream Christianity, therefore, Unitarianism is a heretical belief, and for many centuries those who believed in the unity of God were persecuted by the churches.

Saturday, July 26, 2008



If you really want to get to know the truth, that means meditate or understand meditation, you must first leave the mind to one side, leave religion, and leave your Saints and Gods in peace Neither the Koran nor the Bible, nor the Torah or any "sacred writing" can help. Deeds do not serve any purpose. Nor will going to the Himalayas. Only one thing can help you: start looking at things without the mind. When you look at a flower, do not let the mind say anything. Only look at it. It will be difficult because of your old habit of interpreting. You are always interpreting, and interpretations always differ. Interpretations depend on the mind. How you see things depends on you, not things. Unless you reach a point where these thoughts leave the mind and you stop trying to interpret things and becomes direct, your mind cannot be the mediator. You distort things, and mix them up with interpretations. They are not pure. So the only way to reach the truth is to learn how your vision can be immediate. You must learn how to abandon the aid of the mind ... This mind management is the problem, because the mind can only create dreams, and you can create wonderful dreams that can make you very emotional. And through that emotion the dream begins to resemble reality. If you emotions too much, you're intoxicated, you're no longer in your senses, then what you see is a projection of yourself. And there are so many worlds and minds, because every mind lives in their own world. You can laugh at the stupidity of others, but until we start laughing at our own, we are not able to become a natural being, a man of truth. So what should you do? Try small things: do not intervene on the mind about them. When you look at a flower, just look. Do not say: 'What beautiful! How horrible! ". Do not say anything! Do not use words. Do not verbalize. Just look. The mind will feel uncomfortable, uneasy. The mind would like to say something. Simply tell the mind: 'Be silence! Let me see. I need only to look." Initially it will be difficult, but it starts with things in which you're not very involved. It will be difficult to watch your wife without words. You are heavily involved, too emotionally attached. Whether in anger or love, either way you are too involved. Watch things that are neutral: a rock, a flower, a tree, the sunrise, a bird flying, a cloud floating in the sky. Watch only the things you're not very involved with, which can remain disconnected from you, which can remain indifferent. Start with neutral things, and only when you have managed those move into emotionally charged situations. People begin with loaded situations, and fail, because it is almost impossible. For your wife, you love or hate her. There is no middle ground. If you love you're crazy and if you hate you're crazy; will both emotions you have the words. It is almost impossible not to let both emotions come. It is very difficult due to the constant practice of speaking. Sleeping or awake when you are emotionally involved is very difficult to leave the mind to one side. The mind intervene. So, first observe situations that are not loaded. When you feel that you can look at certain things without the mind interfering, then try it with emotionally charged situations. Little by little, one becomes efficient. It's like swimming. At first you are afraid, you think that you will not survive. And you have been working for so long with the mind that you can not believe you can exist without it even for a single moment. But try! You will be starting the path to meditation in everyday life. Osho

Friday, July 25, 2008


The mother of a Londonderry soldier injured in a Taliban attack in Afghanistan has said it was a miracle he was not killed.

Ranger David Pepper and five of his Royal Irish Regiment colleagues were wounded when they were ambushed in Helmand province last week.

He suffered shrapnel wounds and injured his back in last week's attack.

His mother, Jacqueline Pepper, said their lives had been saved by an "act of God".

"Luckily enough nobody was killed, David has told us since that the vehicle split in two," she said. "He was driving the vehicle and he has told us it was the gearbox below him that took the blast."

An Army spokesperson said an improvised explosive device was used.
The extent of the other men's injuries is not known.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


PM Gordon Brown and Archbishop Dr. Williams

Hundreds of bishops from across the world have marched in London to demand urgent action on global poverty.
The Archbishop of Canterbury led the walk from Parliament to Lambeth Palace.
Dr Rowan Williams called on governments to fulfil their promises on aid and development or see the world's poor suffer disease, starvation and death.
The march was joined by most of the 670 Anglican bishops attending the Lambeth Conference, other faith leaders, politicians and charity workers.
Dr Williams said there was a "genuine opportunity" to end extreme poverty.
But the archbishop warned that most of the Millennium Development Goals agreed by world leaders in 2000 to half poverty by 2015 would not be fulfilled by then, and risked never being achieved at all.

He handed a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, saying the church could not stand by and let promises be broken.

"In our human family the continuing consequence of failure is the death of millions of women and children from childbirth and preventable childhood diseases," the letter said.
"Millions more have hopes for sustainable life diminished because of poverty-fuelled conflict, lack of education and gender inequality, all of which undermine a new generation's liberation from HIV."

Climate change, global trade and economics were also having an impact on poverty, the letter said.

Powerful symbol
The prime minister said the march was "the greatest public demonstration of faith" Britain has ever seen.

Gordon Brown told the gathering that "100 years is too long to wait for justice and that is why we must act now".
"You have sent a symbol, a very clear message with rising force that poverty can be eradicated, poverty must be eradicated and if we all work together for change poverty will be eradicated," he said.

Mr Brown joined Dr Williams in warning that time was running out if the development goals were to be achieved.

Other faith leaders on the march were Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, leader of Catholics in England and Wales; Sir Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; the former secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain Sir Iqbal Sacranie, and Network of Sikh Organisations director Dr Indarjit Singh.
The UN meets on 25 September when there will be a review of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

The goals range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/Aids and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015.
The Lambeth Conference brings together Anglican bishops from around the world every 10 years. This year it has been overshadowed by splits over the role of women and homosexuals in the Anglican Communion. About 200 bishops have boycotted the event.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Fourth-century Bible to go online
By Al Webb
LONDON -- The Codex Sinaiticus, thought to be one of the world's oldest Bibles, is going online this week in a project led by the British Library to reconnect all its 1,600-year-old parts that are spread across Europe and Egypt's Sinai desert.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Muslims begin to copy the megachurch multi-site model
By Mallika Rao

WASHINGTON -- Mosques across the country are beginning to use a model similar to the one used by some suburban and downtown megachurches, operating multiple sites to serve a large and dispersed congregation.Many of these "mosque chains" brand themselves as progressive, and sometimes feature gymnasiums and mixed-gender prayer areas for men and women. Some groups even host weekly services at churches or synagogues with the expressed goal of fostering interfaith goodwill."If they weren't Muslim, they'd look like one of the biggest Catholic churches you'd ever seen, from an organizational standpoint," said Marshall…

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Placencia, Belize - A tranquil evening in the touristic area of Belize shows the presence of our Creator in the beauty of nature.

This green iguana is just another example of the fauna one can expect to see in the rainforsts and wildlife areas of Belize.

Now that's what I call the a MASTERPIECE! Thank you, God!

A King Vulture. Not a really lovable guy. We wouldn't want one but beauty anyway!


Friday, July 18, 2008


Look at the photographs. It is obviously the work of God that we are blessed with life all around us. These are scenes of Belize, my country. I believe we are truly blessed by God. Look around you and you will see the work of God and realize that He is truly great.
Have a nice day.
Smile. It is easier and healthier to be happy than to sad and lonely. A great friend tells me we waste time worrying about past events that hurt us. We must live and love NOW. So that is the advice I pass on to you today.
Love Always,

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Dear Woman,

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created Man, I formed him and breathed life into his nostrils.

But you woman,I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him , so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you.

Man was put to sleep so he could not interfere with the creativity.

From one bone, I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects man's life. I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do.

Around this one bone, I shaped you... I modelled you.

I created you prefectly and beautifully. Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet

delicate and fragile.

You provide protection for the most delicate organ in Man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life.

The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. Support Man as the rib cage supports the body.

You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and to be held close to his side.

You are my perfect angel... you are my beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtues in your heart.

Your eyes ... don't change them.

Your lips how lovely when they part in prayer.

Your nose, so perfect in form.

Your hand, so gentle in touch.

I've caressed your face in your deepest sleep.

I've held your heart close to mine.

Of all that lives and breathes you are most like me.

Adam walked with me in the cool of the day, yet he was lonely.He could not see me or touch me. He could only feel me. So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you; my holiness, my strength, my love, my protection and support.

You are special because you are an extension of me.

Man represents my image, woman my emotions.

Together you represent the totality of God.

I love you, my most precious woman.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Relax - Buddhist Meditation Music - Zen Garden - Kokin Gumi

While the world travels on its daily journey, sit back and take time for yourself. think about the power of your God and think about the changes you can make in this world. Rememebr that love is the key to opening all doors. I found love and it has made me a better person. I thank God for that every day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Music is the food of love and should be played all the time. Peace is the wish of God and must be enjoyed also as much as possible. So, here is more music for those who wish for peace and tranquility.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Dear Lord,

Thank you for this day. I thank you for life and I thank you for the family and friends you have given me. Daily I come in contact with the reality of life and daily I realize that there is more to life than just living. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share what I can with others. Thank you for all you have done for me and thank you, dear Lord, for making me the person that I am. I now ask you to continue to guide me and to protect me from those who would hurt me. Show me how to move ahead and how to do that which will please you. I thank you answering my prayers and for making me the person that I am today. Amen.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Confucianism makes a comeback in China
by Daniel A. Bell

The Japan Times

The Chinese government's very public display of compassion and transparency in response to the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province appears to have strengthened its authority and its bonds with ordinary Chinese people. The government and army worked hand in hand with legions of volunteers and private networks to rescue quake victims. Even diehard cynics were won over by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's emotional comforting of the survivors.
But heroic rescue efforts will not be able to help the government forever, so it is worth asking what can provide long-term political legitimacy. After all, communism has lost its capacity to inspire the Chinese. So what should replace it?
Most Westerners think the answer is liberal democracy, as did many Chinese liberals in the 20th century. But there is another answer, which takes the form of the old and venerable tradition of Confucianism, which is being revived by government officials, critical intellectuals and ordinary citizens.
The opening ceremony of the Olympic games will highlight this revival: It will feature not quotes from Marx, but sayings from the Analects of Confucius. Such sayings as "The world's peoples are all brothers" and "Isn't one of life's greatest pleasures to have friends visiting from afar?" will be beamed to billions worldwide, expressing the best that Chinese culture has to offer.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Australia trip will test 81-year-old pope's stamina

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI departs Saturday on a 10-day trip to Australia, the longest pilgrimage of his papacy and a test of the 81-year-old pontiff's stamina.
Tens of thousands of young pilgrims are awaiting him.
Although aides say the pope is in fine health, the Vatican appeared to be taking no chances to ensure Benedict is fit for the church's World Youth Day festival.
With little advance notice, it canceled Benedict's weekly public audience this past Wednesday as well as most other meetings to give him as much rest as possible.
It even put on hold a much-awaited audience with Ingrid Betancourt, who was recently freed after more than six years as a hostage in the Colombian jungles and expressed a desire to see the pope.

Upon the pope's arrival in Sydney after more than 20 hours of flying -- interrupted only by a 90-minute refueling stop -- he will spend three days resting in a Roman Catholic study center in Kenthurst, in the countryside outside Sydney.
"He is not expected to leave the center," during that time said his spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
Benedict will be attending World Youth Day, an event generally held every two years, which attracts hundreds of thousands of young Catholics. It was begun by Pope John Paul II, who considered it essential for the pope to deliver his message to young people.
After he succeeded John Paul three years ago, Benedict said he doubted he would make many long trips. But invitations keep coming in from world leaders and officials of his global 1-billion member flock.
The Vatican generally does not give out information about the pope's health, citing his privacy. Except for a light chronic cough, though, the pope appears healthy and has never skipped a planned event for health reasons.
Benedict himself has said that being pope is "really tiring" and, in an interview with German television in 2006, said he does not feel strong enough to take many long trips.
He visited Brazil last year, made a pilgrimage to the United States in April and will travel to France in September.
"Those who live in Rome, in Italy or in Europe maybe can't appreciate the value of papal trips," Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras told the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire in an interview published Thursday.
From elsewhere, he said, "only the rich can afford to come to Rome. So I say, only slightly joking, that papal trips are a kind of preferential option for the poor."
In fact, Benedict will be greeted at Sydney Harbor on Thursday by a group of Aborigines and other young people from the Pacific Basin and deliver what is expected to be an important address. In 2001, John Paul issued a formal apology to the indigenous peoples of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands for injustices perpetrated by Catholic missionaries.
Australia's senior Catholic leader, Cardinal George Pell, has also said that Benedict will likely express regret during the trip for sexual abuse committed by clergy -- as he did during his U.S. trip.
Lombardi, Benedict's spokesman, said it is possible that he will.
Support groups for victims of church abuse -- whose numbers are not known but who activists say are in the thousands -- have demanded that Benedict make a full apology.
Pell himself has been accused of badly handling a sexual abuse claim and this week agreed to reopen investigations into the 25-year-old case.
World Youth Day will culminate July 20 with an open-air Mass expected to draw some 250,000 pilgrims.
The papal visit is Australia's biggest public event since the 2000 Olympics.
Despite the pilgrims' excitement, the festival has attracted a fair amount of controversy. The NoToPope Coalition, made up of gay rights, student and atheist groups, is planning a July 19 march to protest what it calls the pope's homophobic and antiquated ideas. The Church forbids the use of condoms and other forms of artificial birth control and the coalition planned to distribute condoms to young pilgrims in response.
A new law that gives authorities the power to order anyone to stop behavior considered "annoying" toward the pilgrims has been assailed as a form of censorship. Anyone who does not comply with the regulations could face a fine of 5,500 Australian dollars (US$5,300). Police and the New South Wales state government say they are a necessary security measure, but libertarians and rights activists disagree.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Authors offer up a racy view of the Bible

Most believers would say the Bible is the Word of God, or at least a divinely inspired book written by divinely inspired men.But what if the Bible had been mistranslated, or censored to remove the tawdry bits about pimps, cross-dressers or a, ahem, Brazilian wax as punishment?

That's what biblical scholars John Kaltner and Stephen L. McKenzie of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., were wondering, and they set out to investigate a handful of unorthodox interpretations of Old Testament tales.

The result was their new book, "The Uncensored Bible: The Bawdy and Naughty Bits of the Good Book," co-authored with Christian satirist Joel Kilpatrick.

They're questions like: Was Eve actually created not from Adam's rib, but "from something a little lower down"? Was the "knowledge of good and evil" in the Garden of Eden a euphemism for sex? And, as chapter 6 asks, "Did Abraham Pimp Sarah?"

The answer to many of their questions was no, but it nonetheless makes for some interesting (not to mention steamy) reading. Kaltner and McKenzie were inspired to write the book after hearing the intriguing account of Eve's origin at a conference. From there, they researched other unusual interpretations tucked away in scholarly journals.

Kilpatrick, the evangelical creator of religious satire Lark News, was also brought on board to further the book's witty and light-hearted tone.

In the account of Eve's creation, the Hebrew word used for "rib" is "tsela," but that's not how it's translated in other parts of the Bible. Rather, it's usually translated as a "side" or "appendage" jutting out from a central structure.

All male mammals possess a penis bone -- except humans and spider monkeys. So was the "bone" used to create Eve not actually Adam's rib after all?

The authors conclude the theory has "compelling advantages" over traditional interpretations, and is not "bizarre, outrageous or unreasonable."

The authors insist they are not challenging the integrity of the Bible, but "just dealing with parts of the Bible that aren't preached from the pulpit that often," Kilpatrick said.

In an attempt to simplify biblical scholarship, complex ideas are brought into layman's terms. Rather than sacrilegiously picking on accepted biblical translations, the authors say their book simply picks those translations apart, revealing potential long-standing misunderstandings."

No Bible Bashing, Please," reads the introduction. "We are not trying to make fun of the Bible. We love the Bible."

However, with eye-grabbing, provocative titles like "Was Joseph a Cross-Dresser?", "Did Jacob Use Ancient Viagra?", and "Does the Bible Command Bikini Waxing?", the authors' approach to biblical appreciation is sure to ruffle some feathers.

Joseph's alleged cross-dressing theory roots itself in the vague Hebrew word used to describe his famous "coat of many colors." The same word is used only one other time in the Hebrew Bible, describing the clothing of Tamar, daughter of King David. The authors delve into the theory authored by a professor at Chicago Theological Seminary that Joseph's garb could not possibly be unisex, and wonders if maybe Joseph was instead transgendered. The author's mostly disagree, and say the idea can be filed under "highly unlikely."

Euphemisms, puns and sarcasm abound in the breezy read that journeys through risque ideas, including a translation from Deuteronomy of a woman's hand being cut off to mean a primitive Brazilian wax as punishment.

Given its frequently sexual and snarky approach, the book is already drawing fire in the blogosphere. But the book's authors -- and its publisher -- don't seem to mind."

This stuff is in the Bible. It deals with murder, rape and incest so to object on that basis is to object to the Bible itself," said Mickey Maudlin, editorial director and vice president of publisher HarperOne. "Sometimes people miss the grittiness of Scripture because they feel it goes against holiness of Scripture, and it doesn't."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008



I saw the sun go down yesterday,

And realized there was nothing I could say,

To replace the glory of the sunset,

There are no words I can think of yet.

The glorious sun was huge and bright,

And gave off such a wonderful sight.

The orange glowed in the sky so clear,

It seem to smile and say goodbye, my dear.

I suddenly realized I had not looked around,

And enjoyed the splendour that can surround,

This place I call my town, my refuge and my home,

Because I've been so busy to really be alone.

For the wonders of nature go sometimes unseen

When we are busy with each and every human being,

That calls on us to extend our hand,

To help them achieve their goal or their plan.

So, please stop and take time for yourself some day,

Listen to what nature has to say.

There is a message for each and everyone us,

We just have to stop and listen - we just MUST!

Brenda A. Ysaguirre
Copyright 2008 Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


With All my love to a Special Nephew


The love that shines in your mother's eyes,
Matches with the glow of your father's smile,
As in their arms their new born son lies,
And we realize this is not a fleeting moment, nor for a while.

For you were born to bring them joy,
On a very special and glorious day,
You are their treasure, their little boy,
To whom love they'll give in every way.

So as we look on and share the love,
We know that life is truly blessed,
And we must thank the Lord above,
For putting your parents through this test.

So little lad so cuddly and small,
Grow and fill the house with LOVE so true
And God's Blessing will spread to all,
Especially to your mom and dad and YOU.

Brenda A. Ysaguirre
Copyright 2008 Brenda A. Ysaguirre


Have no fear,
The Lord is here.
He sees your pain,
And your tears falling like rain.

He cares for you,
And watches everything you do.
He sends you love,
And many blessings from above.

The birds that sing and the dogs that bark,
All saved by 40 days on the Ark.
They're God's way of telling us He is here,
Watching over us and being forever near.

So love the Lord forevermore,
Do not close your heart for it is the door,
That brings Him to me and you,
To guide us with everything we do.
Brenda A. Ysaguirre
April 14, 2006
Copyright 2008 Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Monday, July 7, 2008


Jesus is my Lord,

Jesus is my Saviour,

'Cause He washed my sins away,

And He taught me how to pray.

Jesus is my Redeemer,

Jesus is my King,

And I love Him everyday,

'Cause He washed away my sin.

Jesus is my Messiah,

Jesus is my Truth,

I will sing His praise,

For the rest of my days.

Jesus is my Way,

Jesus is my Light,

All this I can say,

'Cause He washed my sins away.

'Cause He washed my sins away,

And He taught me how to pray,

All these things I can say,

For I'll love Him everyday.

Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Copyright 2008 Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Sunday, July 6, 2008


When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go, only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly!'

Saturday, July 5, 2008


God made,

Adam bit,

Noah arked,

Abraham split,

Jacob fooled,

Joseph ruled,

Bush talked,

Moses balked,

Pharaoh plagued,

People walked,

Sea divided,

Tablets guided,

Promises landed,

Saul freaked,

David peeked,

Prophets warned,

Jesus born,

God walked,

Love talked,

Anger crucified,

Hope died,

Love rose,

Spirit flamed,

Word spread,

God remained.


Friday, July 4, 2008


I have been looking at the news surrounding Ingrid Betancourt's freedom from captivity and I was not surprised that she mentioned her continuous praying to God for this day to arrive when she would be once again with her mother and her children. That day was July 2nd, 2008 and it shows that God has plans for each and every one of us. It shows that we are able to keep our faith even under harsh realities.


Let us now pray for those estimated 700 hostages still held by the FARC because we can only hope and pray that the lost of the 15 to them does not make them become more cruel to those still unde their control.

Heavenly Father we ask you to watch over and protect all your people in captivity, especially those in the Colombian jungle under the FARC. Help them to keep their faith and help their oppressors to know and love you and to realize that it is time to set these people free. Send them a Moises, Dear Lord to show them the way to freedom. In your merciful kindness let them know and love you, AMEN.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


AS Belize goes through one wave of disaster after another with the rising rivers over the past month that have caused lost of life, homes and personal defects, we can still look at the skies in the morning and see the hope of new days with better to come in the eyes, hearts and actions of those who suffer at this time.

I would like to thank all those kind persons who have given assistance in the form of money and clothing to the less fortunate at this time. To the Belize Red Cross for their continuous assistance in delivering food and clothing to those in need. To the Belize public for giving in whatever way they have and continue to give. To NEMO, for keeping on top of things.

A people can only survive if there is compassion and understanding around for them to experience. Belizeans continue to show that they are always willing to give a helping hand to the less fortunate.

That's God!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008



This Book is so called, because it treats of the excellence of WISDOM,the means to obtain it, and the happy fruits it produces. It is writtenin the person of Solomon, and contains his sentiments. But it isuncertain who was the writer. It abounds with instructions andexhortations to kings and all magistrates to minister justice in thecommonwealth, teaching all kinds of virtues under the general names ofjustice and wisdom. It contains also many prophecies of Christ's coming,passion, resurrection, and other Christian mysteries. The whole may bedivided into three parts. In the first six chapters, the authoradmonishes all superiors to love and exercise justice and wisdom. In thenext three, he teacheth that wisdom proceedeth only from God, and isprocured by prayer and a good life. In the other ten chapters, hesheweth the excellent effects and utility of wisdom and justice.


Chapter 1

An exhortation to seek God sincerely, who cannot be deceived, anddesireth not our death.

1:1. Love justice, you that are the judges of the earth. Think of theLord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart:

1:2. For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himselfto them that have faith in him.

1:3. For perverse thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it istried, reproveth the unwise:

1:4. For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in abody subject to sins.

1:5. For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, andwill withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, andhe shall not abide when iniquity cometh in.

1:6. For the spirit of wisdom is benevolent, and will not acquit theevil speaker from his lips: for God is witness of his reins, and he is atrue searcher of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.

1:7. For the Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world: and thatwhich containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice.

1:8. Therefore he that speaketh unjust things, cannot be hid, neithershall the chastising judgment pass him by.

1:9. For inquisition shall be made into the thoughts of the ungodly, andthe hearing of his words shall come to God, to the chastising of hisiniquities.

1:10. For the ear of jealousy heareth all things, and the tumult ofmurmuring shall not be hid.

1:11. Keep yourselves, therefore, from murmuring, which profitethnothing, and refrain your tongue from detraction, for an obscure speechshall not go for nought: and the mouth that belieth, killeth the soul.

1:12. Seek not death in the error of your life, neither procure yedestruction by the works of your hands.

1:13. For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in thedestruction of the living.

1:14. For he created all things that they might be: and he made thenations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destructionin them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.

1:15. For justice is perpetual and immortal.

1:16. But the wicked with works and words have called it to them: andesteeming it a friend, have fallen away and have made a covenant withit: because they are worthy to be of the part thereof.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What the Bible Says About... CHOICES

The freedom to make our own choices is a very important issue in our society. Every day, each of us chooses to do the things that we do, unless we are in a situation where we have been stripped of our freedom and then we must do as those who have control over us command us to do. This would be the case of those in prison or those who are enslaved by force in repressive societies. Even in these circumstances one still has freedom to make certain choices although they may be limited. For example, one can choose as to what kind of attitude and response one would have to his or her oppressors. Those in prisons can still experience freedom when they have Christ, because true freedom is an act of the soul and therefore we each can make choices in our soul. Other men cannot force us to think wrongly unless we choose to agree with them.There are other circumstances that can limit our choices because of the authority that exits in the world. One of these would be the choices of school children are limited to the authorities' decisions and rules. This is also true of the military. These are just two of many circumstances that can limit one's own personal choices.However, no matter what our choices are today, they are ultimately creating our future because every choice that we make will either cause us to be blessed or cursed. Another way to put it, is that things will get better or worse for us. All choices have consequences. These consequences will be for our betterment or will work to destroy us. We are also responsible for our choices.

The Bible challenges us with this admonition in Deuteronomy 30:19: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live"Messages going forth in our society today have stressed our "right to choose" but have not balanced it with the message that our choices also have consequences (especially in the area of lust and selfishness.) For instance, most movies have glamorized many things that are bad for us and have not generally shown the destructive results of smoking, drinking, adultery, fornication, gambling, abortion, etc. These things do not often hit home until ----
A loved one gets lung cancer and is dying.
A child is killed by a drunk driver
Close friends divorce because of the unfaithfulness of a mate
A teen is infected with a venereal disease she will have for life
A family loses their home because of gambling debts
A baby is aborted because of the lust and selfishness of it’s parents leaving them struggling with guilt

Our Daily Choices

We face choices on a personal level daily: What shall we eat? ---- We can choose to eat healthy or just "pig out" on junk food.Whom should we vote for? ---- We can take the time to pray and study the candidates positions and vote accordingly or we can refuse to vote. When we do not vote, we are actually making a choice to allow others to choose who shall rule over us.Whom shall we marry? ---- This is a serious life-time commitment and should never be gone into without God's guidance. Making this choice foolishly or based on emotion alone has brought much heartache to many a person. What occupation should we pursue? ---- Those making this decision strictly based on need or money issues will regret not seeking God about this issue. God has gifted every person with certain talents to adapt to the jobs that are suited just for them at the right times in their lives.Should I return the money that was credited to my account by accident? ---- Remember the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." When only God is watching, what kind of choices do we make? He is looking for people He can trust, as He desires to use us in His work.Should I purchase this item on credit? ---- Do I really need this item or is it something I want, even though I cannot afford it?These are just some samples of choices that we face. We also face temptations that we must resist with the Word of God. The consequences of some choices are more deadly than others. When we rebel against God and choose our own way, we are choosing a path of destruction that will ultimately end in hell. Because of God’s love and mercy to humanity, most of our choices do not have immediate results. We are all given a time to repent and find the Lord and His ways. We may all get away with sinning for awhile; however in time we will reap what we have sown.2 Peter 3:9 says "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

Wrong Choices Cause Soul Sickness

Many people are sick in their souls because they have not known the ways of the Lord, and therefore have made wrong decisions. God wants to heal us in every area of our souls and bodies, as well as give us a new life in the spirit. To receive healing of the soul, however, we must understand it and why it needs to be healed, restored, and renewed.The Greek word psuche (pronounced "sue-kay") is the word Bible writers used when talking about things of the natural man, which in English is called "the soul." The soul of man is comprised of the mind, the will, and the emotions. Our emotional patterns tend to formulate our personalities.The soul, or personality, is formed through a person's reactions to the information the mind takes in. The way each person chooses to react to the things he hears, the things that happen to him, and the things he chooses to receive as truth causes each soul to become what he, or she, is. However, when a person is born again, he becomes a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), and the soul can be changed and renewed through the Holy Spirit.As Christians we are to develop the attributes of Christ and become like Him. Because much of our personalities are formed through our choices, we have to make new choices to let go of the old nature and receive the new. Our new natures are formed by the truths from the Word of God. The healing of the soul, which is a cleansing process, takes place as we learn to study the Word and develop a close fellowship with the Lord through prayer.

The Mind, the Will and the Emotions

We might look upon human beings in this way: each of us is a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body.The will is how we exercise our freedom of choices. God gave man this freedom when He created Adam. God will not violate our free wills and make us do the right thing, nor will He make choices for us. We can choose His way, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ" (Romans 8:22:"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."), or we can choose the way of self -- which really is the devil's way or "the law of sin and death."There are only two ways: God's or the devil's. What man thinks is his own way is really Satan's way and puts him under the authority of the enemy. If someone is not for God, he automatically is against Him (Matthew 12:30). There is no possible way man can just do his own thing and think he is not making a choice. That choice is choosing Satan's way. Even "no choice" on man's part is a choice, because when we refuse to choose, others will make our choices for us. Satan causes men to follow him by encouraging apathy, laziness, or lack of responsibility.The mind is the intellect, with reasoning being the "voice" of the mind. If the mind remains unrenewed, not "healed," it will continue to think carnal thoughts, believe false information, and result in fleshly speaking and living.The emotions were designed by God to express His characteristics, which are placed in our spirits when we become born again. Those are the "fruits" written about in Galatians 5:22,23, and other places. If we do not yield to the renewal process, we continue to act like our "old father," the devil.

Put on the Nature of Jesus

Much of the Church considers sanctification or "conforming to the image of Jesus" (Romans 8:29) to be optional. It is not taught or preached as much as it was in former generations. Many Christians born since World War II are as much a part of the "Me Generation" as the world. Self-will and rebellion are more a part of society today than at any time previously in the history of the United States. It is no surprise that much of today's American Church operates in carnality, and it should be no surprise to us that God has finally set out to expose this evil and clean up His Church.When Paul wrote to the Ephesians about "crucifying" the old man, this is exactly what he meant (Ephesians 4:18-24). When something is crucified, it is put to death. Every Christian needs the things of his old nature (which are part of his unregerated soul), to be put to death in order for the life of God to permeate the whole person. We have been given the power through the Holy Spirit to overcome sin in our lives. We can choose to obey God and He will empower us to overcome every sin.Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?Instead of pursuing holiness, many Christians have just allowed Christ to dwell in their spirits, but have not allowed Him to renew their souls and heal their bodies. As soon as a person is born again, he should begin to make the choices that will put to death his old ways of thinking, talking, and acting, and allow the Holy Spirit to replace them with God's ways.

Overcoming Through Faith

Renewing the soul will cause negative habits and emotions to change. The key to that change is faith. Through our wills we must choose to change. However, it is only the work of the Holy Spirit who can actually bring permanent change in us. We cannot do it in ourselves. We choose to let go of the negative and that allows the Holy Spirit to do the changing. But doubt and unbelief can keep a person from receiving this kind of healing as much as it does healing of the body. A Christian must make the choices for God's way and against his own way in absolute faith that the Holy Spirit will do His part and make the needed changes in us.If we allow our bodies to be lazy and undisciplined, they will suffer the consequences. Bad physical habits can hinder God's work in us. The Holy Spirit wants to help us overcome these ungodly ways. In the soul, if we choose to be resentful, hateful, angry, unkind, discouraged, worried, fearful, impatient, lustful, greedy, etc., we will allow these things to rule us instead of calling on the strength of Christ to help us to overcome these negative attitudes.Many habits or addictions of the soul and body can be broken with a three-day fast. Certain desires or feelings of the body are perfectly legitimate, such as hunger, sleep, and so forth. Through the five senses, the body is the receiver of information from the world around it. The senses were given to us by God to protect us, and under the direction of the Holy Spirit, they work perfectly to serve us. However, under Satan's influence, or self-will, the senses are perverted to fulfill the lusts of the flesh which can bring destruction.

Changing Old Habits

Every sinful habit in our lives gained its foothold through our thoughts and choices. We can gain victory over those habits by thinking God's thoughts. A person who feels unworthy and unacceptable can replace those negative feelings with the truth that through Jesus, he or she has become worthy and acceptable. The process of conforming to the image of Jesus will be successful as we choose to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.The way to change a habit of negative thinking is to choose to change that negative thought for its opposite. The Bible calls that "overcoming evil with good" (Romans 12:19-21). For example, if a Christian finds himself ready to repeat some negative gossip about a brother or sister, he should choose to say something nice about that person instead. Very quickly, the habit of repeating negative things about other people will be broken.The Lord wants to save us from tragedy, sickness, fear, anxiety, and the turmoil of this world. These things come upon us because of our bad choices or through ignorance or chains of iniquity. Instead, God wants us to walk in the Spirit of life so we may have His love, joy, peace, and victory (2 Corinthians 7:1) over every trial and temptation.
Bible Choices Bring BlessingsOur future is determined by all the choices we are making today. Let us bring God into helping us make our decisions. In doing that it will determine whether our future will be secure and will have God's blessing on it. Let us be as Joshua was and declare: "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." God promised Joshua good success if he obeyed the words of the Bible and chose to follow Him. Joshua and his family were blessed because he made the right choices even though he went through many battles God was with him. He was an overcomer! Joshua 1:8: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."Joshua 24:14: "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."