Page 5 of 18 Dec 1999 Issue of Del Rio News Herald in Del-Rio, Texas

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Del Rio News Herald (Newspaper) - December 18, 1999, Del Rio, Texas CHURCHDel Rio News-Herald ^ A Saturday, December 18, 1999 Healthy relationships built on principles of tough love: • James Dobson QUESTION: In your book “Love Must Be Tough." you suggest some ways unmarried people can build healthy relationships and not smother each other. Would you share those again and apply the “tough love" principle to those of us who are not married? DR. DOBSON: The principles of loving toughness are the same for those who are single as for those who have been married for decades. There are circumstances. however, that are specific to the courtship period. Let me cite 17 suggestions that will help you avoid the common pitfalls among those who are trying to win the heart of another. 1. Don’t let a relationship move too fast in its infancy. The phrase “too hot not to cool down” has validity. Romantic affairs that begin in a frenzy frequently burn themselves out. Take it one step at a time. 2. Don’t discuss your personal inadequacies and haws in great detail when the relationship is new. No matter how warm and accepting your friend may be, any great revelation of low selfesteem or embarrassing weaknesses can be fatal when interpersonal “valleys" occur. And they will occur. 3. Remember that respect precedes love. Build it stone upon stone. 4. Don’t call too often on the phone or give the other person an opportunity to get tired of you. 5. Don’t be too quick to reveal your desire to get married — or that you think you’ve just found Mr. Wonderful or Miss Mar Religion Briefs Free trip to Israel accepted by 3,000 collegians WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillel, the Jewish college organization, reports that 3,000 students from more than 80 campuses and 48 states are taking up an offer of free 10-day tours of Israel during the winter break. The program is open to college students who have never taken a group tour to Israel. Some 9,000 students applied this fall, and Hillel chose the participants through interviews and lotteries. This is the first year in the Birthright Israel program, funded by private donors, which uses Hillel as its recruiting arm. The purpose is to strengthen Jewish identity and interest in Israel. Birthright Israel, originat^d-lh 1998, hopes eventually to extend the offer to any interested high school or college student above age 14 and to raise $300 million to endow the program. Talking marriage online NEW YORK (AP) — The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has added chat rooms to its Web site on interfaith marriage so members can discuss issues and raise questions. The archdiocese estimates that 67 percent of marriages in its churches now involve non-Christians or Christians who belong |o non-Ortho-dox churchés. The chat rooms are directed by the Rev. Charles Joanides, who has conducted interfaith marriage work for the archdiocese for two years. The chat rooms are in addition to research and information available    at “” Husband takes vows as Catholic priest CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) - It’s official. Lawrence Blake is now a Catholic priest, husband and father of three. Blake, a former Lutheran minister, is exempt from celibacy to preserve his marriage. The Vatican granted him special permission in June to become a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Vatican’s decision has drawn the attention of members of the Catholic community who want to see other mergers of marriage and priesthood. The Rev. Michael Tegeder, a pastor at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Bloomington, said, “1 wish him well personally. It’s Just the concern that a lot of people feel they’re being discounted.” Gerry Sell. Minnesota liaison for the national Catholic group Call to Action, said; “For myself. 1 hope that this would be a preview of things to come — that we can have married priests.” Her group, which also espouses women priests, has pushed to make several changes in church doctrine. But church leaders say this exception is not expected to become rule. School play resurrected GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) — Some 59 elementary pupils will get to perform their school play this Christmas after all. But the performance won’t be at school. A nearby church offered its sanctuary for the play after school officials considered canceling it to avoid an expensive lawsuit. The Indiana Civil Liberties Union had said the play’s religious theme was inappropriate for a public school. “Miracle on Bethlehem Street” is a musical comedy in which the characters praise Christian beliefs. Nativity scene opened as a church’s drive-through LITTLE ROCK (AP) —There are fast-food drive-throughs and drive-through banks. So why not a drive-through dedicated to Mary, Joseph and the three kings? The First Church of the Nazarene closed its parking lot last week and set up an outdoor Nativity scene for those who want ed to experience the tme meaning of Christmas, but didn’t want to gel out of their cars. “1 suppose some people will feel it is tacky, and I suppose intellectually it is,” said Carla Johnson, professor of communications at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind. “But from the standpoint of they have a message that they want to get to as many people as they can ... it’s a really good idea." The church expected about 10,000 people to take the 15-minute drive, said Jane Krutz, a member of the church’s board. It was the 12th year in a row the church offered the free service. Since its beginning, the five-day exhibit (Dec. 8-12) has grown to include about 140 costumed characters — from 2-year-olds to senior citizens — and a stable-full of live animals: donkeys, chickens. dogs £ind horses. Motorists pass through nine scenes illuminated with candles, each scene telling a part of the Christmas story. An angel is suspended in the air in the shepherds' scene. “In a way, it’s kind of nice, you don’t have to be a member of the church to enjoy the message,” Johnson said. Many churches have had to turn to secular-style marketing efforts to attract a crowd, she said. “It’s what they have to do." she said. “I would say they’re doing good marketing. They’re using the ehannels that people are comfortable with. They’re giving you something you want to see and at the same time getting the message across." Krutz said many families begin velous. If your partner has not arrived at the same conclusion, you’ll throw him or her into panic. 6. Most important: Relationships are constantly being “tested" by cautious lovers who like to nibble at the bait before swallowing the hook. This testing procedure takes many forms, but it usually involves pulling back from the other person to see what will happen. Perhaps a foolish fight is initiated. Maybe two weeks will pass without a phone call. Or sometimes flirtation occurs with a rival. In each instance, the question being asked is, "How important am I to you, and what would you do if you lost me?” An even more basic issue lies below that one. It is: “How free am 1 to leave if I want to?" It is incredibly impor tant in these instances to appear poised, secure and equally independent. Do not grasp the other person and beg for mercy. Some people remain single throughout life because they cannot resist the temptation to grovel when the test occurs. 7. Extending the same concept. keep in mind that virtually every dating relationship that continues for a year or more and seems to be moving toward marriage will be given the ultimate test. A breakup will occur, motivated by only one of the lovers. The rejected individual should know that their future together depends on the skill with which he or she handles that crisis. If the hurting individual can remain calm, the next two steps may be reconciliation and marriage. It often happens that way. If not. then no amount of pleading will change anything. 8. Do not depend entirely upon each other for the satisfaction of every emotional need. Maintain interests and activities outside that romantic relationship, even after marriage. 9. Guard against selfishness in your love affair. Neither the man nor the woman should do all the giving. I once broke up with a girl because she let me take her to nice places, bring her flowers, buy her lunch, etc. I wanted to do these things but expected her to reciprocate in some way. She didn’t. there are eight more “Love Must Be Tough” principles to be discussed, and we’ll take a look at them next week. Dr. Dobson is president of theFccus On The Family nonprofit organization Focus on the Family. P.O. Box 444, Colorado Springs. Colo. 80903; or Questions and answers are excerpted from “Solid Answers,” published by Tyndale House. This columnts brought to you courtesy of Burt Stidham, Sentry Security Service. A Son is given and His Name is . . . Mighty God We last considered what it meant to have Jesus become our Wonderful Counselor. We now return to the words of the prophet Isaiah when he with joy proclaimed. "For a child will be born to us. a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God. Eternal Father. Prince ol Peac'e." (Isaiah 9:6) When you consider your life with God. one of the first things you must know about Him is that He has done a great work for your life. Out of the depths of God s redeeming heart. He gives us a son to become our. ('hampi-011 Even before the loundalions of lilis globe were sel. God was working out a plan to live in full fellowship with you. God, who is the Highest Life, desires to share His Life with you. You arc the only creation of God with the capacity to contain this Life. Even the individual who stands opposed to God knows intrinsically that there is ’ something beyond the mere ani mation of a physical body. We have a sense of eternity within our hearts and we long to be part of this One who created us. The great news is that this One who created us is not far away. He docs not stand oppo.scd to you corning to Him. Your sin does not repel Him. You will not be rejected by Him as you gen uinely seek I lim His concern for vour life is revealed by His will ingness to give you His Son to champion your greatest need: forgiveness of sin. When the baby was born in that manger in Bethlehem, the very heart of God was revealed in physical form. The only true and living God was brought to us in the life of this child who grew to display the mightiness of the Godhead. When the enemy came against Him, the enemy was defeated. When sin came against Him, sin was deleated. When death came against Him. death was defeated. Jesus is your champion. He is the Mighty God. That is why the Apostle Paul rejoices in oui position by writ ing, But in all these things we overwlu’lmingly conquer through Douglas Marks First Christian Church I lim who loved us. For 1 am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us Irom the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Dird. ( Romans 8:37) We are made perfect through Him ... By MARSHALL CRAIG ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.’ (Heb.9;28). Christ was once offered for our iniquities never to be offered again for sins. Under the Old Testament covenant the Hebrew priest offered daily sacrifices in the temple for the sins of the people. ’And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: The animal sacrifices that were offered in the temple (not church) were offered as an allegory, of Him who would come and bleed and die for the sins of the world'. ‘For by one offering He (Jesus) hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’ (Heb. 10:14). We are made perfect through the eter nal sacrifice of Christ. ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us. who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (11 Cor. 5:21). Our righteousness is imputed righteousness, through his sacrifice on the Cross. But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus from the dead. Who was raised agátih for our justification.’ Rom.4:24,2,5). Salvation is not a merit-demcrit situation whereby we need another sacrifice every time that we sin. ‘...we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ (Heb. 10; 10). It was Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.’ (Heb.9:12). The sacrifices by the priests, under the law could never take away sins, but Christ through the New Testament blood covenant bore our sins in his own body on the Cross having obtained eternal redemption for us. The Bible clearly states. ‘Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for .sin.’ (Heb. 10:18). Every time that Christ is offered upon the altar of saerifice. He is put to open shame. ‘If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him'to an open shame.’ (Heb.6:6). Jesus is our high priest. Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.’ (Heb.7:27). To mix law and grace together is a gross misunderstanding of the holy scriptures.We are saved by grace through faith, and not by our own humanistic efforts. He delivered us by ‘Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way. nailing it to his cross.’ (Heb.2:14)r If it is not pure grace, it is not grace at all. Jesus is the mediator of the New Testament covenant written in his own blood. their Christmas celebrations each year by visiting the scene. The drive-through also accommodates people who might not ordinarily be able to see the sight. “One of the great things about it is that invalids can go through it.” Krutz said. “We’ve even had people go through it in hospital beds.” And people who want to park and walk through the scenes are welcome, she said. “They first go ’through the gates into Bethlehem," she said. “Roman soldiers are guarding the gates.” Krutz said one man who drove through the scenes about three years ago had a spiritual reawakening. “He hadn’t been in church since he was a boy,” Knitz said. “Because it was outside he came through it.” Tlie next year he portrayed one of the shepherds, she said. “That one person alone is worth the work we go through,” she added, Krutz said the church decided to do the drive-through Nativity scene after a former music director came up with the idea. She said the convenience allows elderly and handicapped people to experience the season. The idea of making religion convenient Isn’t a new idea. Johnson said. “It sounds as though they’re doing something that’s a very old idea,” Johnson said. “They had morality plays in the Middle Ages." Churches had actors travel to small towns to deliver messages on morality to Illiterate townspeople. “This Is a culture of convenience and mobility," said Derek Komparc, professor of radio, television and film at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth. Texas. “It’s just another indication of how fixated we are on mobility.’’ The Little Rock exhibit is free and the church refuses any offerings. Billy Graham: Everything changed in 20th century, except humanity NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Billy Graham has lived through 81 of the 20th century’s 100 years and experienced its won ders and upheavals: technologi cal wizardry, antibiotics, transatlantic flight, war and rampant evil. Christian and Muslim advancement and serious cultur al challenges to religion. One thing hasn’t changed, says America’s best-known reli gious leader: humanity’s^ quest for salvation. During a New York trip to address a banquet for United Nations diplomats this week. Graham reilected on religious developments during an astonishing century, and he looked ahead. The 21st century will be the same spiritually as the 20th because “man’s heart has not changed. God has not changed,” he asserted in an interview with The Associated Press. "Some of the things I’ve heard are going to happen technologically are way beyond anything 1 can think about. I don’t think that’s going to change society. Society is made up of people, and people are the same the world over." In the early 1900s, he rellect-ed, optimism reigned among liberal Christians. “Some forecast that this would be The Christian Century.’ A magazine was named that. They believed things would get better and better in the world.” Then came World War II, which “exploded a lot of this. 11 was as devastating a war as the world had ever known, with the atomic bomb and so lortli, and it had a great impact on all religions." People developed a deeper sense of sin, he suggested, and looked beyond political nostrums lor answers. He finds the social location ol religion has changed dramatical •y- “I grew up in the South, and church was a big thing in our lives. I suppose it was through out the country. In the schools, ministers were brought in to preach sermons, and the Bible was read every day. We had prayer in high school classes. This helped mold my character and my thinking. I knew some things were wrong and some things were right. We’ve lost that.” U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the 1960s banished such religious exercises from public schools, and other cultural shifts brought a greater secularization of society. And yet Graham, the still-active evangelist, finds the century ending with ever growing religious Interest. “i see people believing more and more and more in Christ. Maybe not to surrender their lives to him, but they believe he is the only answer to life’s problems." He thinks young Americans especially are “searching for something. They may not know what it is. but a great segment of youth are on this spiritual quest.” He noted that high school students are forming their own prayer and Bible clubs, even though “the culture is not with them.” Simultaneously. Graham believes American youth is In serious trouble morally. For Instance, he finds reports of widespread cheating among high school and college students dis heartening. The way out? “Repentance of our sin and faith in God. the same way that Mr. Clinton says he has taken.” Asked what he makes of the president’s efforts. Graham simply quoted Scripture: “Jesus said. By their fruits ye shall know them.”’ Sur\^eying changes the century brought to America, he pointed to the end of racial segregation, which “was an accepted part of the culture” when he was a farm boy near Charlotte, N.C. The racial lines persist In churches. Graham observed, and he believes different styles of worship between black and white churches have been “a barrier to coming together.” Other barriers have broken down. “The ecumenical movement began to bring Christians together from different backgrounds and theologies.” The change in Catholic attitudes toward Protestants is “like night and day,” he said. If Graham were to pick the man of the century it might be Pope John Paul II. He “has brought the greatest impact of any pope in the last 200 years," Graham thinks. “I admire his courage, determination. Intellectual abilities and his understanding of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox differences, and the attempt at some form of reconciliation." Another, huge change is improved relations between Christians and Jews. “We have grown. The two don’t see the vast differences and hold the prejudices they did. People have friends across all kinds of lines.” Ixioking at the global scene, Graham says Islam’s spread is one of the century’s major trends. “There are things about Islam that appeal to people. Strict rules. People want discipline and some authority,” he said. He added, “I think Islam also is divided, just as much as Christianity.” Graham thinks Islam is gaining numerically, relative to Christianity, and believes his own faith has a competitive weakness, especially in modern America and Western Europe. There, Christian beliefs coexist, often uncomfortably, alongside “our absorption of materialism and our worldliness, which the Bible warns us of. That’s a temptation for all of us ...” Technology has opened great opportunities for faith, he thinks. Electronic amplification, something we take for granted, has made preaching far easier, and broadcasting also provides evangelistic opportunities. At the same time, he said, “TV is a big negative, because people normally given to devotions and prayer and family circles neglect that now because .somebody’s favorite program is on. Some programs have deteriorated into the worst Image of human nature. There’s so much violence.” Looking toward the 21st century. Graham knows he won’t keep up with all the changes In gadgetry, but he is unconcerned. “1 have made some advanced. 1 have learned to turn my computer on. That’s about as far as I've gotten,” he said with a character Istic chuckle,    Í

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