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Who Was Mary Magdalene

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Was she the wife of Jesus, the mother of his children,
or the Holy Grail, as The Da Vinci Code claims? Or the
repentant prostitute of Jesus Christ Superstar, throwing
herself at the Master's feet and singing, "I Don't Know
How to Love Him"?


Mary Magdalene
Meet the real friend and follower of Jesus.
by Liz Curtis Higgs

Was she the wife of Jesus, the mother of his children, or the Holy Grail, as The Da Vinci Code claims? Or the repentant prostitute of Jesus Christ Superstar, throwing herself at the Master's feet and singing, "I Don't Know How to Love Him"?

According to Scripture, Mary Magdalene was none of the above. And more than the above.

We find her story in all four gospels, where she's mentioned by name 14 times—significant, since many women of the Bible are nameless.

Here's her eye-opening, one-line biography: "When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons" (Mark 16:9). Possessed by Satan, she was repossessed by Christ, then privileged to witness his resurrection. Oh! She has a story, all right—but not a scandalous one.

The Many Marys
So how did we get so off the mark on Mary Magdalene?

Well, she was from Magdala, a town known for vice and violence. Additionally, there are seven Marys in the New Testament: Mary Magdalene; Jesus' mother; Clopas's wife; Mary of Bethany; John Mark's mother; a diligent worker; and James and Joses' mother, who's also called "the other Mary."

Two thousand years of art and literature haven't helped her cause. Mary Magdalene often is depicted as the unnamed prostitute who washed Jesus' feet with her tears (Luke 7:37-50), or the woman caught in adultery (John 8:2-11), or as Lazarus' sister—who was from Bethany, not Magdala—who anointed the Lord's head with costly perfume (Mark 14:3-9, John 11:2). Fascinating women, all—but not our Mary M.

The real Mary Magdalene led the faithful sisters in financing the Lord's work "out of their own means" (Luke 8:3) and following Jesus wherever he went.

For her devotion alone, Mary Magdalene serves as a fine role model for twenty-first-century believers. Follow her to the tomb on Easter morning, and you'll learn the greatest lesson Mary M. has to offer.

Go And Tell
When Mary Magdalene "saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance" (John 20:1), she hurried to Jerusalem and convinced Peter and John to see the empty tomb. I might have started with a lesser disciple, but this leader among women went right to the top. Clearly they respected her, because they wasted no time running back with her.

Finding it empty, the two disciples returned to their homes, while Mary remained weeping outside the tomb, unwilling to abandon her Lord. Such faithfulness was soon rewarded. Two angels in white appeared, followed by a stranger whom she mistook for a gardener, until the moment he spoke her name: "Mary" (John 20:16).

Her response was immediate. And it wasn't "Honey" but "Rabboni!" The meaning is "my great teacher," and the nature of their relationship is clear: teacher and student, leader and follower, but not husband and wife.

Before he returned to his heavenly home, Jesus had an assignment for Mary Magdalene: "Go … to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God' " (John 20:17). Did she ever! With her own eyes, she'd seen him. With her own ears, she'd heard him. With her own hands, she'd touched him. And so she proclaimed, "I have seen the Lord!" (John 20:18). A personal, undeniable testimony, setting the example for us all.

Two thousand years ago Mary Magdalene heeded the command of Jesus to go and tell. May we follow in her footsteps, seeing the Christ with new eyes, then declaring his glorious truth to a world longing for answers.
Digging Deeper

1. According to Luke 8:1-3, what facts do we know about Mary Magdalene and her relationship with Jesus?

2. Following Christ can and will cost us everything, as Matthew 10:37-39 testifies. How do those verses exemplify Mary Magdalene's life? In what ways might she serve as a role model for you?

3. Like Mary Magdalene, we are called to go and tell the world that Jesus is alive. Read the following verses—Acts 20:24, Galatians 1:10-12, and 1 Thessalonians 2:8—then offer a prayer of commitment to share that Good News.

Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of 23 books, including Unveiling Mary Magdalene (WaterBrook Press). Visit her website:
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Michael's World
A Dangerous Place to Be

May 24, 2006

Michael Schiavo has published a book titled Terri: The Truth. It is about his well-known and, unfortunately, successful fight to end his wife's life. Opening this book is like falling down Alice's rabbit hole and ending up in a new and bizarre world.

You don't even have to turn to the first page—just look at the front cover, where Michael proclaims, "My two babies were threatened with death. I was condemned by the president, the majority leaders of the House and Senate, the governor of Florida, the pope, and the right-wing media. . . . I didn't respond to their attacks. I didn't confront their lies. Until now."

Well, a quick Internet search turns up page after page of Michael's vigorous responses on Nightline, Larry King Live, and other venues, most of it very confrontational.

Why would he respond now? Books sales and talk shows are a lucrative business.

This turns out to be typical of the way things work in Michael Schiavo's world. As readers of the book soon discover, Schiavo's opponents deserve all the venom he can spew on them. To Michael Schiavo's mind, nobody could possibly have a good reason for wanting to let Terri Schiavo live in her condition. So he paints his opponents as biased, liars, downright insane. Just as the book cover indicates, the pope, the president, the governor of Florida, Terri's family, and several cranks who sent Michael death threats—which, by the way, I know from experience happens in these kinds of cases—are all lumped into the same category: people who opposed Michael's noble crusade to kill his wife. Noble? Or was he after collecting the insurance money and marrying the woman he was living with? Michael Schiavo's world, if you believe his book, is like the old Westerns where the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys all wore black hats and twisted their mustaches a lot.

Joking aside, Michael Schiavo's world is a dangerous and scary place, a place where the "survival of the fittest" is taken to a whole new level—a place where a badly brain-damaged woman should have her food and water taken away simply because she is badly brain damaged and her husband says she would not want to live that way. It's a place where it's easy for even a registered nurse like Michael Schiavo to confuse food, which everyone needs, with the kind of life support, like a respirator, which his wife did not need. It's a place where, as Schiavo is accustomed to saying with a straight face, taking someone's food away is not starving her to death; it's simply allowing her to die peacefully and painlessly. (Why a hospice needs to administer morphine to a person dying painlessly is something that Schiavo does not bother to explain, like so many other issues.)

The scariest thing about Michael Schiavo's world is that he, and so many of his partisans in the media and the public, do not want to give the benefit of the doubt to a comatose person. Now, I admit that many people today think well of Michael and less of those of us who defended Terri Schiavo since the autopsy showed that she had been brain-dead when she was in a comatose state. But that's beside the point. Our concern was with safeguarding the process and giving her the benefit of the doubt. After all, you can't do an autopsy until the person is dead, and then it is too late to correct mistakes.

Reading Schiavo's book is a sobering reminder that we must never give up our fight to guard the rights of the weak and the voiceless, or one day we will all be living—and dying—in Michael Schiavo's world.

This is part six in the "War on the Weak" series.

Get links to further information on today's topic

For printer-friendly version, simply visit and click on Today's Commentary. The printer-friendly link is on the left-hand column.
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Where is the United States in Bible prophecy? We have been asked this question by many of our readers over the years and today we would like to take a brief look at what the Bible has to say about America’s ultimate destiny.

The United States appears to be conspicuously absent from Biblical prophecy. Biblical scholars tend to disagree on this subject. We could make a multitude of conjectures concerning America's fate, but the fact of the matter is that the Bible does not specifically explain God's plan for the US.

However we can learn many things about America's possible destiny by looking at the parallels between the US and the Northern Kingdom of Israel as described in the book of Hosea. The Northern Kingdom enjoyed material prosperity unequaled since days of Solomon, but they had sunk to the depths of immorality and idol worship. As a result of their sin God judged Israel and they were destroyed by their enemies.

The United States also enjoys unprecedented wealth and prosperity, but as a nation we have turned our back on God. So why hasn't God judged America? Is it too late? Or is there still time? Our Lord has power over all that is in heaven and earth and He alone has the power to transform our nation. God made a promise to the people of Israel that may apply to us as well:

"If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

This call for repentance is not addressed to our President, our Congress, or the liberal left: It is addressed to "my people, who are called by my name." It speaks to the Body of Christ. Our stewardship of this nation does not begin and end at the ballot box. There is much more required of us. We need a national revival - and it must start with you and me.

"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name." - 1 Chronicles 29:11-13
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Inside the Church of Liberalism

Though liberalism rejects the idea of God and reviles people of faith, argues Coulter, it bears all the attributes of a religion itself. In Godless, she throws open the doors of the Church of Liberalism, showing us:

its sacraments (abortion)

its holy writ (Roe v. Wade)

its martyrs (from Soviet spy Alger Hiss to cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal)

its clergy (public school teachers)

its churches (government schools, where prayer is prohibited but condoms are free)

its doctrine of infallibility (as manifest in the "absolute moral authority" of spokesmen from Cindy Sheehan to Max Cleland)

and its cosmology (in which mankind is an inconsequential accident)

Then, of course, there's the liberal creation myth: Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. For liberals, evolution is the touchstone that separates the enlightened from the benighted. But Coulter neatly reverses the pretense that liberals are rationalists guided by the ideals of free inquiry and the scientific method. She exposes the essential truth about Darwinian evolution that liberals refuse to confront: it is bogus science.

Writing with a keen appreciation for genuine science, Coulter reveals that the so-called "gaps" in the theory of evolution are all there is -- Darwinism is nothing but a gap. After 150 years of dedicated searching into the fossil record, evolution's proponents have failed utterly to substantiate its claims. And a long line of supposed evidence, from the infamous Piltdown Man to the "evolving" peppered moths of England, has been exposed as hoaxes. Still, liberals treat those who question evolution as religious heretics and prohibit students from hearing about real science when it contradicts Darwinism. And these are the people who say they want to keep faith out of the classroom?

Liberals' absolute devotion to Darwinism, Coulter shows, has nothing to do with evolution's scientific validity and everything to do with its refusal to admit the possibility of God as a guiding force. They will brook no challenges to the official religion.

Fearlessly confronting the high priests of the Church of Liberalism and ringing with Coulter's razor-sharp wit, Godless is the most important and riveting book yet from one of today's most lively and impassioned conservative voices.
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My name is Tracey Bunn and my husband is former Atlanta Police Officer Raymond Bunn. I gave birth to our fifth child -- a baby boy -- just a few months ago.

But Ray wasn’t allowed to go to the hospital with me. Because the Fulton County District Attorney was holding him in jail that night -- and is trying to put Ray in prison for the rest of his life!

More than three years ago, on July 14, 2002, Ray and his partner were patrolling the Buckhead bar district area of Atlanta. It was about 3:00am when they heard the sound of breaking glass and a car alarm go off -- and saw a man jump out of the shattered passenger window of nearby car.

Ray and his partner began shouting over and over: “Police! Stop! Police! Stop!” But the man ignored them and jumped into the back seat of a nearby Chevy Tahoe SUV. Both Ray and his partner drew their weapons and slowly advanced towards the SUV. Suddenly the driver of the SUV, a man named Corey Ward, punched the gas pedal and started driving straight at my husband.

Ray was trapped between the right front of his cruiser and the oncoming car. With the SUV just a few feet away from him, Ray had no choice. He fired off two shots from his service revolver and tried to jump out of the way. But he didn’t make it. The SUV struck his knee.

And the worst was still yet to come.

Corey Ward, the driver of the SUV, died at the scene from the gunshot wound to his head. Ray was devastated -- it was the first time in his police career that my husband had ever been forced to kill a man. But he knows that he did the right thing.

Police are trained to use force if they feel their lives are in danger. Which Ray’s life clearly was. But anti-police activists in Atlanta didn’t agree.You see, Corey Ward was a young black man. Radicals in the black community accused my husband of being a rogue, racist cop.

They held demonstrations in front of the police station calling for a murder indictment against Ray.

Even Johnny Cochran -- the notorious attorney who defended O.J. Simpson -- showed up in Atlanta to stage a protest!

Ray and his fellow police officers -- both black and white -- couldn’t believe it, as my husband was being labeled a “racist” for defending himself in the line of duty!

Then, after everything we’d just been through, Ray’s National Guard unit, he is a sergeant, was called up for deployment to Iraq.

It about broke my heart to say good-bye to him. But God brought Ray home safely after a year-long tour of duty. Our family was finally all back together. And we were all so excited when I found out I was expecting our fifth child!

Then without warning, the Fulton County District Attorney announced that he was indicting Ray for the murder of Corey Ward.

That’s right -- three and a half years after my husband was nearly killed by Corey Ward’s SUV, and after a year long tour in Iraq, the DA finally bowed to pressure from local activists and indicted Ray.

If convicted, Ray could be imprisoned for the rest of life -- just for doing his job!

My oldest daughter is scared to death that she’s going to lose her dad. My sons try to be strong -- but I can see how frightened they are, too.

And every time I see Ray rock the baby to sleep, or just walk the kids to the bus stop, I can’t help but think that these are sweetest moments of our lives -- the moments we’ll lose forever if Ray is sent to prison!

I’m trying to have hope.But the deck is stacked against us.

Remember, it took three years for the Fulton County D.A. to decide to indict Ray. It shows you just how powerful the local radicals really are that the D.A. caved in to their political pressure.

The local news stories never mention that police found cocaine, marijuana, a large knife, and two stolen cell phones in Ward’s SUV.

Or the fact that Corey Ward drove his three-ton vehicle right at my husband!

Or the fact that in the police report, one of the passengers in Corey Ward’s SUV said “he saw a man get out of the vehicle and yell police, police, stop, stop!” The passenger went on to say “I knew the guy telling him to stop was a police officer because of the chain he wore around his neck displayed an Atlanta Police Department badge”!!

I feel like we are barely treading water. And even if Ray wins in court, the trial will destroy us financially.

The International Brotherhood of Police Organizations and the Police Benevolent Association in Georgia are both standing behind Ray. And the rank-and-file of the Atlanta Police Department support him, too.

I can’t stop my mind from racing. Will my husband have to rot in prison for the rest of his life for a crime he did not commit? Will our little baby boy ever see his daddy outside of a jail cell?

And if Ray survives the trial, how on earth will we ever pay our legal bills?

Right now we are clinging to one hope:

The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF). LELDF is an answered prayer to innocent officers like Ray. Former Attorney General Ed Meese is on their board. When the Chairman of LELDF heard about Ray’s case, he called and said he would do whatever he could to help us.

Now they are trying to raise money on Ray’s behalf -- to pay for attorneys, expert witnesses, and legal research.

Ray and I aren’t wealthy people. With five children, including a newborn baby, it’s all we can do to make ends meet.

When I look at Ray, I see the man who risked his life to protect the streets of Atlanta for 7 years. I see the man who risked his life for a year in Iraq to defend our nation.

And I see a husband so precious and a father so loving I can’t believe God blessed me with him!

I vowed on my wedding day to stand by Ray in the good times and bad. But the only way I know how to honor that vow today is by asking for your help.

Thank you so much for reading my letter. And thank you on behalf of every wife and every child of an American police officer.

I pray that no one in your family ever has to go through a nightmare like ours.

Yours truly,

Mrs. Tracey Bunn

P.S. If what my husband did was “murder,” then sooner or later every decent police officer in this country will be put behind bars. My children and I already lost Ray for a year when he served in Iraq. But that was his choice, and a choice we fully supported. But we can’t bear to lose him again.
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America - Why I Love Her

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

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Is Jesus God?

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* * * 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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