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The Cross At William & Mary


Founded in 1693, the College of William and Mary in
Williamsburg, Virginia—my alma mater—is the second -
oldest college in the United States after Harvard. Like
Harvard, William and Mary was founded for explicitly
Christian purposes: The Royal Charter listed the training
of "ministers of the gospel" and the propagation of the
Christian faith among the "western Indians" among the
school's founding purposes.

Not surprisingly, given the school's history, one of the oldest
buildings on campus is the chapel, designed by Sir Christopher
Wren who also designed St. Paul's Cathedral in London. On the
altar stood a gold cross that was donated to the school by the
nearby historic Bruton Parish church in the 1930s.

I say "stood" because in October, William and Mary President
Gene R. Nichol ordered that the cross be removed from the altar.
His goal was to "make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific"
place and to "make it more welcoming" to people of "all faiths."

As you probably guessed, Nichol could not cite a specific instance
of non-Christians being made to feel unwelcome by the presence
of the cross...


Giving Reasons
Jill Carattini

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched
the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. (So Mark reports
in chapter 12.) It was a scene made for good people-watching. Perhaps
there were some who made a spectacle of their giving. Others gave in
guilt or joy or obligation. Many rich people threw in large amounts. A
poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a
fraction of a penny. The motives of giving are many, as are the people
who give.

It is the season of charity and it is celebrated by millions. In a
Wall Street Journal article titled "Charitable Explanation," Arthur
Brooks examines giving in America and its patterns among us. In the month
of December, as much as a third of the quarter-trillion dollars Americans
give away each year is collected. Eighty-five million Americans

Even so, giving is not a collective national trait. "While 85 million
American households give away money each year to nonprofit organizations,"
notes Brooks "another 30 million do not."(1) There is a Giving America and
Non-Giving America, he says. And what distinguishes them is not income.
In fact, he reports, "America's working poor give away at least as large a
percentage of their incomes as the rich, and a lot more than the middle
class. The charity gap is driven not by economics but by values." Giving
is apparently a matter of perspective.

In the middle of his people-watching at the temple treasury, Jesus called
his disciples to the scene in front him: a widow had dropped in two copper
coins as she passed by the treasury, and it caught the eye of the teacher.
Sandwiched between the generous gifts of the affluent, her coins would
perhaps not have drawn the attention of anyone else. But Jesus said, "I
tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than
all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her
poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on" (Mark 12:43-44).

What is it that motivates a woman to give when it is so rational to save?
What is it that moves us to reach toward the family that is lost in medical
bills or the one who has lost her job? If we are merely products of time
and chance, programmed for survival of the fittest, why would we give at
all? Arthur Brooks offers one more statistic: "Americans who weekly
attend a house of worship are 25 percentage points more likely to give
than people who go to church rarely or never. These religious folks also
give nearly four times more dollars per year than secularists, on average,
and volunteer more than twice as frequently."

When Jesus said that we would always have the poor with us, I don't think
he said it with the kind of despair I sometimes find within me when I look
around and see how vast is the need of a hurting world. I don't think he
said it to make us feel guilty or to remind us that there are always
others less fortunate than us. I think he said it knowing every face in
the immense crowd of nobodiness, knowing every name we might not learn
when the pain of others becomes unbearable. He said it living in time and
yet conscious of eternity, showing us the perspective he longed for us to
hold: We give because we are made in the image of one who has given us

Reasons to give will always be surrounding us; and where we will allow
ourselves to see, it will be overwhelming. The oppressed and the
brokenhearted will continue to call us from our comfortable apathy and
languid affluence, just as Christ himself calls us to set aside all that
entangles and follow after him. The poor and the downcast are in need of
hope and justice; they need mercy, and they need our time, even as Jesus
seems to tell us that it is we who need their time: "The poor you will
always have with you." And he said as if it were a promise that he, too,
would be near. He spoke knowing that throughout most of history the Son
of God would not be with us in the flesh. But in the cup of cold water
delivered to the least of these, in the reaching out to our neighbors, in
the giving to others because God has given to us, he is there among us.
He is with the hand extended to the one hurting; he is behind the eyes of
the one in need--dispelling the notion of nobodiness two faces at a time.

Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias
International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Arthur Brooks, "Charitable Explanation," Wall Street Journal
(November 27, 2006).

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)
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"Temple Treasure"
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Listen to the audio broadcast!
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I only had 24 hours in Athens, Greece. Well, what am I going to
do? Well, I knew what I wanted to see - the Acropolis, and there it
is. It's on this hill that dominates the city, and it's there that
the ancient Greeks built this incredible temple to their goddess
Athena. Even after 20 centuries, I have to tell you, it's still an
impressive, imposing structure and it still dominates the city. The
Acropolis was the most sacred, most protected, most honored place in
all of Athens. In fact, it was a serious crime to violate that
temple, as it was in many ancient cultures. Hey, everybody knew the
temple got first class treatment because the gods live there.

Now, those ancient worshippers had the wrong God, but in a way
they had the right idea about His temple. It was in the time of those
temples and ancient deities that Paul wrote our word for today from
the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 6:19- 20.

Here's what he says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple
of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God
with your body." Now Paul is presenting here one of Christianity's
most revolutionary and most shocking ideas. If you belong to Jesus
Christ, you are the building God lives in!

And even pagan people knew that the way you take care of your
god's dwelling place tells a lot about how you feel about your god.
If you know Christ, you are God's two-legged temple! You don't have
to go to Greece to see a temple - all you have to do is look in the
mirror! So everything you do with that body of yours, God is part of.
Everything you do to that body, in a sense, you do to God.

So the question is: Are you treating your body like the temple
treasure that it is? If you really care about the God you say you
love, you won't let His temple run down, get overweight, get abused
by an eating disorder, or get all out of shape. Ancient pagans knew
you had to keep the temple in good condition because your temple
advertises what your god is like. That's what you and I do with the
body that His Holy Spirit has come to live in. Maybe you're devaluing
that temple God lives in with the junk you put in it, or by playing
around sexually, using His temple to satisfy your glands or your
curiosity. Do you know who lives in the body you're doing that with?
The Holy Spirit of God.

It isn't smart to junk up God's temple. It isn't smart to misuse
God's temple. That's what the moneychangers found out when they were
abusing God's temple in Jesus' day - when His temple was a building.
It's one of the few places in the Bible where Jesus is really angry.
He physically, angrily goes after those who have messed up the place
that is God's dwelling. Today, that's your body, and Jesus doesn't
like it when you junk up His temple.

It matters what you do with His temple; what you put into it,
how you treat it. The reason it matters to Jesus so much - what you
do with that body of yours - with that temple of yours - is that He
paid for you with His blood. You were, remember, "bought at a price."
And that price was Jesus' life. He has a right to expect that the
body His Spirit has moved into will be kept very special for Him.

Note: If you missed Tuesday's message (#5192 - "At the Down End of Your Day"), you can read it online at:
Click Here

To find out how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit YOURS FOR LIFE: HOW TO HAVE LIFE'S MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP at:
Click Here
Or, call 1-888-NEED HIM.

"A Word With You" by Ron Hutchcraft is a daily radio challenge, with slice-of-life illustrations and insights - providing practical help on the issues that matter most. If your local Christian radio station does not air "A Word With You," please let them know how much you value this program. Over six years of transcripts are available online, at Click Here
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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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