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This material is not suitable for those who are deficient in humor
or thought challenged!!! Do not read any further - you have been
warned. Preconceived ideas and biases could be endangered.
A unique blend of the jocular with provocative rumination is just
ahead for your divertissement!?!
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Does Prayer Work?
Research and 'Unanswered' Prayer

The headlines seemed almost triumphal in tone.

"Prayer Doesn't Aid Recovery, Study Finds." That was the Washington Post. "Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer." That was the New York Times.

Both papers were describing a study designed to determine the power of prayer. Not only did it show that prayer apparently makes no difference, but some prayed-for patients in the study actually fared worse than the unprayed-for ones.

The research, led by Jeffery Dusek of the Harvard Medical School, involved 1,802 heart-bypass patients. One-third were told they would be prayed for (but they weren't), one-third were told they might receive prayer, and one-third were told they would definitely be prayed for. Catholics and Protestants who agreed to pray for certain patients were told to ask for "a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications."

Patients in the two groups that did not know if anyone was praying for them had about the same rate of complications—52 percent—regardless of whether they were being prayed for. But 59 percent of the patients who knew they were being prayed for suffered complications.

The researchers were quick to downplay the unexpected results. Knowing they were being prayed for may have led to stress among patients, they noted. And as one doctor put it, "Did the patients think, 'I am so sick they had to call in the prayer team?'"

Naturally, some observers were delighted at the results. They think the study proves conclusively that prayer doesn't work, and it's time for men of science to "stop dabbling in the supernatural," as one academic put it.

But wait a minute. The researchers acknowledged that they could not control for the fact that many "unauthorized" people may have interceded for loved ones in the so-called "unprayed-for" group. And plenty of other studies indicate that intercessory prayer does have an impact.

But perhaps the study's biggest flaw involves how the results were interpreted. Christians know that there are three possible answers to prayer: "Yes," "no," and "wait." The Harvard study measured only the "yes" answers. But just because we don't get the answer we're looking for does not mean God is not listening or answering.

We are given a glorious example of this truth by Jesus Himself. On the night before His arrest, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, an agonized Jesus asked God to remove the cup that was before Him. He prayed that He would not have to go to the Cross. And yet, not long afterward, Jesus did die on the Cross.

To a modern researcher, this is the perfect example of a prayer that went unanswered. But we know that God did answer this prayer. He answered it in a way that led, over the next twenty centuries, to salvation for millions. And on Easter Sunday, millions of Christians around the world will thank God for answering it the way He did.

Yes, Jesus died on the Cross. But He rose again on the third day. And thanks to that so-called "unanswered prayer," you and I can say this Easter, "Hallelujah! Christ is risen!"

And no matter what the researchers tell us, we know we can trust God to hear, and answer, every prayer.

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Can We Be Good without God?:
Why Godless Morality Always Fails

"Why can't we be good without God?" J. Budziszewski, professor of
government and philosophy at the University of Texas, says that his
students ask this question frequently. They're okay with rules like
"Thou shalt not steal," but they're uncomfortable with rules like "Thou
shalt have no other gods before me." They want to be good by their own
power and according to their own definitions of goodness -- not by
God's grace or according to His definition of goodness.

Needless to say, students aren't the only people who think this way.
The attitude is deeply ingrained in almost all of our society's
opinion-forming institutions -- universities, the media, courts, and
the professions. In his fascinating new book, WHAT WE CAN'T NOT
KNOW, J. Budziszewski explains why we cannot be good without God --
why godless morality always fails.

One reason is that the first thing a person sees in the moral law is
how far short he falls. We can't escape the awareness of a debt we owe
that exceeds anything we can pay. Now Christians know that on the
cross, the debt has been paid. But in a secular worldview, there is no
divine payment of the debt. What's the result? People try not to think
about their debt. And to avoid thinking about it, they refuse to look
at the moral law; instead they make up their own, less demanding
standards. It is called self-rationalization, something I know all
about from my life before my conversion.

Godless morality is futile for another reason: Have you ever heard the
saying, "Do the right thing, and let God take care of the
consequences"? Christians can say this because we know that God is
sovereign. But without faith in God, the saying makes no sense. Without
God, we try to make up for adverse consequences ourselves, and we will
end up, more often than not, "doing evil, so that good will result."
This is the root from which the utilitarianism of Peter Singer and
others springs.

Yet another reason morality needs God is that apart from Him, morality
itself loses meaning. In yesterday's BreakPoint I explained that we can
learn about how to live from the way that God designed us. But without
God, we can't think of ourselves as designed at all. In fact, the
evolutionist says that "man is the result of a purposeless and natural
process that did not have us in mind." If this process had gone a bit
differently, we would have had a different nature. With that nature
perhaps instead of caring for our children, we might be disposed to eat
them the way guppies do. Why not? If morality is an accident of
evolution, who can say that this would be wrong? Without God, we have
no reason to take any morality seriously.

So the answer is, no. We can't be good without God. Oh, sure, you can
do good things, but not consistently. The fact is that we cannot even
define what goodness is without God. J. Budziszewski's new book, WHAT
WE CAN'T NOT KNOW, is an excellent resource for understanding the
situation we are in and the Christian arguments for a morality rooted
in faith. It's a study that will strengthen your Christian worldview
and help you to explain the basis of morality and the need for God to
your neighbors. (Chuck Colson)
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Dear Howdy, ! Whats up? So are you a guy or girl?
And how old are you? And where do ya live? Well
aren't I just full of questions!! Anyway yeah I like your
emails, they're cute! LOL Well i gotta go now
So' email me !

C ya.
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Dear Howdy, My computer crashed--a lightning strike did the modem in, I
believe. Anyway, a new modem has been installed. I am catching up on all
the Howdy newsletters that have come in while my system was down.
Bill R.
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* * * Great Archives Here - - - - "Music That Howdy Enjoys" Below * * *

February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   December 2007  

How Can I Know God???

Tales of Narnia

Answering Islam

The Da Vinci Code

A Short Look At Six World Religions

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My Heart Christ's Home

Big John's America

Not Garbage

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Purgatory, Heaven Or Hell?

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Is Jesus God?


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America - Why I Love Her

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Why The U.S.A. Is At War - 1

Why The U.S.A. Is At War - 2

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Is Jesus God?

Statement Of What Howdy Believes!!!

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Verse of the Day

* * * Four Important Things To KNOW: #1) For ALL (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. #2) For the wages of above (see #1) are DEATH (Hell, eternal separation from God, & damnation) but the Gift (free & at no charge to you) of God (Creator, Jehovah, & Trinity) is Eternal Life (Heaven) through (in union with) Jesus Christ (God, Lord, 2nd Person of The Trinity, Messiah, Prince of Peace & Savior of the World). #3) For God so greatly loved & dearly prized the world (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (anyone, anywhere, anytime - while still living) believes (trust in, relies on, clings to, depends completely on) Him shall have eternal (everlasting) life (heaven). #4) Jesus said: "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE. No one (male/female - American, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Presbyterian, European, Baptist, Brazilian, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc. ) comes (arrives) to the Father (with GOD in Heaven) EXCEPT BY (through) ME (no other name). *** This wonderful loving GOD gives you the choice - - - (Rev. 3:20) {Please note that church membership, baptism, doing good things, etc. are not requirements for becoming a Christian - however they are great afterwards!!!} *** Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction (Hell, damnation, eternal punishment), and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (Heaven, eternal happiness, forever with God), and only a few find it.

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But these are written so that you may
believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the
Son of God, and that by believing in
Him you will have life. Jn 20:31

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call on Him while He is near. Let the
wicked forsake his way and the evil
man his thoughts. Let him turn to the
Lord, and He will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for He will freely
pardon. "For My thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways
My ways," declares the Lord. "As the
heavens are higher than the earth, so
are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down
from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making
it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed
for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My
mouth: It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and
achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth
in peace; the mountains and hills will
burst into song before you, and all the
trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the
pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle
will grow. This will be for the Lord's
renown, for an everlasting sign, which
will not be destroyed." Is 55

O Lord, you have searched me and you
know me. You know when I sit and when
I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying
down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know
it completely, O Lord. You hem me in -
behind and before; you have laid your
hand upon me. Such knowledge is too
wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where
can I flee from your presence? If I go up
to the heavens, you are there; if I make
my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide
me and the light become night around
me," even the darkness will not be dark
to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. For you
created my inmost being; you knit me
together in my mother's womb. I praise
you because I am fearfully and wonderfully
made; your works are wonderful, I know
that full well. My frame was not hidden
from you when I was made in the secret
place. When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth, your eyes saw my
unformed body. All the days ordained
for me were written in your book before
one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,
O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would
outnumber the grains of sand. When
I awake, I am still with you. Search me,
O God, and know my heart; test me
and know my anxious thoughts. See
if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ps 139

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up,
that I may show My power in you, and that My
Name may be declared in all the earth. Ex 9:16

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
- - Isaac Watts

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