News From a Fallen World (A.K.A. News of the Bizarre)

Has Paris Hilton Found God?

Paris_hiton_and_bible_2_5Has this blog become a tabloid gossip column? That's the REAL question!

It's a blog about everyday interactions with God in daily life and popular culture. So, if somebody visible is talking about God it's fair game.

Prior to her sentencing Paris Hilton was spending a lot of time with her mother and seen around Los Angeles with a Bible under her arm. (The included picture is Paris carrying the books in L.A.) She also was carrying the book, "The Power of Now," a New Age tome on mysticism, integration and inter-personal relationships. Some think that carrying the books was just one more show, but hey, the Bible is the Bible. 

The Bible she is carrying looks like a stolen Gideon's Bible from a hotel room, but I'm sure the Gideon's aren't too bothered by stolen Bibles. Maybe they want people to take the Bibles.  Any Gideon's out there know the answer to that?  Maybe she got it from one of the Hilton family hotels which also include a book by Conrad Hilton, "Be My Guest" in each room. In any event, she has a Bible and has been carrying it around! Not to mention that Gideon Bibles include an invitation to receive Christ in them.

On Sunday Paris Hilton told Barbara Walters from jail, "I'm not the same person I was," she said. "I used to act dumb. It was an act. I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute. It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me. I know now that I can make a difference, that I have the power to do that. I have been thinking that I want to do different things when I am out of here. I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance." She continued by saying, "God,has released me."

I don't think that we should go around proclaiming Paris Hilton as the next evangelist, especially considering we don't even know what she means when she says "God." Even if she has found God, she has a long path in front of her. She certainly doesn't need to be spokesperson or authority on spiritual life. Whether she has truly turned to God or is in the searching and seeking stage this is a great time to pray for Paris Hilton, because let's be honest when was the last time you prayed for Paris Hilton.

What her interest in God, even if just for the moment, shows us is that people are hungry for reality, for something beyond themselves and that when everything else is taken away, we do know that there is a God.  Under it all everybody knows this.

Pray for her and know that people need God. We can be a lifeline and a connection to God for hungry souls.


Police: "We wish Jesus would solve more of these cases."

Jesus_inside_2 Confession is not only good for the soul, it's good for everybody.  After having a conversion to Jesus Christ, Michael Mohr, walked into a New York City Police station to confess that he strangled a homeless lady three years ago. He felt like that's what Jesus wanted him to do. The police chimed in by saying, "We wish Jesus would solve more of these."

Jesus still changes lives and moves us to do the right thing. Great story. 

Click here to read the story in the New York Daily Post.


The Chocolate Jesus

Chocolate_jesus_1_2 The Roger Smith Lab Gallery in mid-town Manhattan canceled a display they were to have during Holy Week (the days between Palm Sunday and Easter) of a life-sized Jesus made out of chocolate.  Now think this through with me. Don't you think that some part of this whole thing was so that bloggers like me would go nuts and post the link to the Gallery just like I did above? Well... of course!

Why have a chocolate Jesus on display during Jesus week?  Because the canceled showing generated national exposure that's why.

Oh, by the way, the chocolate Jesus isn't the one pictured above.  Somebody else did that quite awhile ago, so the artist doing the chocolate Jesus wasn't even original in his thought. But to be fair, it's hard to have an original thought.  While we're being fair, I think most people would agree it would be a little weird to bite into a chocolate Jesus like the one pictured anyway. I know I wouldn't do it.

Cheese_room1_2 The chocolate Jesus the aforementioned artist produced was really just plain disrespectful. (That's why I don't have a picture of it, nor do I mention his name.)  It got him some press and publicity though. Jesus does that for people, even people that are not following him or respecting Him.  The picture above is piece of work done by the artist.  A bedroom he covered with cheese.  Probably most people aren't planning their weekends around making their way to see that exhibit, so I guess he tried his hand at seeing if Jesus couldn't get him a bit more visibility. These are just guesses mind you, I don't really know. But I do know the name of Jesus is powerful. Even when used for one's own ends.

The Bible tells us to "taste and see that the Lord is Good."  Better than chocolate for the moment and with eternal rewards.  Jesus sure is good!  Using His name can get you some publicity. Loving His Name will bring you more staisfaction than one could ever imagine!


Psychic Sylvia Browne is "Dead Wrong"

Sylvia_brown_1I hate the negative approach of putting people down, making fun of them or proving how wrong they are in order to make yourself look right. Most people don't respond well to negative spin, except in some sick or perverse manner. Not that I'm above these base tactics, it's just a cheap shot. There certainly is nothing attractive about putting people down or "putting them in their place" in front of others. Negative people might be attracted to negative reporting, but that doesn't mean every once in a while you shouldn't blow the whistle, expose the lie, or just "say something!"

Sylvia Browne is a phony, is dangerous, does not bring hope to people and must be stopped.  On Saturday, January 27, 5 PM eastern time she will be doing a live presentation of her "Predictions for 2007." Her predictions are more than just parlor games, tricks, fun or educated guesses.  Her predictions are sorely wrong, hurtful and dangerous to people looking for hope. She ought to be banned or at least boycotted on a large scale. SHE IS DANGEROUS TO THE EMOTIONAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH OF PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.  Stay away from her!!!

Consider how hurtful these "predictions," "psychic vibrations," and "pronouncements" are. (Click the underlined links to read the stories.)

* She told the parents of Shawn Hornbeck (the boy missing for four years and recently found with another abducted boy) that their son was dead! How creepy is that?!?!  It was on the Montel Williams show that Browne originally told the parents that Shawn's body was near two large boulders in the woods. After telling them he was dead she offered to help find the body for $700 a half hour. Her response to authorities after finding the boy was that she is right enough times for it to not make difference. Right, Unless, you're the family! Not to mention she told a national television audience he was dead! Watch here for some discussion on Fox News about Sylvia's wrong assertion that the boy was dead.

* Based on a "strong psychic feeling" she convinced people to give her money to invest in a mining operation. One young couple gave her $20,000 and rather than invest it in mining, she invested it in her own "Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research." She was indicted on grand larceny charges. She plead "No Contest."  She said she failed because her psychic abilities don't work for herself. Well, they didn't work for the young couple either!  Here's an article titled, "Sylvia Browne Failed to See Her Own Criminal Conviction"

* She predicted a cure for breast cancer by the end of 1999

* Watch here as she tells parents their daughter was shot.  The parents tell her, "No," the girl just collapsed in her bedroom.  This stuff is utter foolishness.

* She stated the Sago Miners were all alive and then changed that after the news came out that they were all dead.

* In 1999 she told a grandmother that her abducted six year old granddaughter was not dead, but had been sold into slavery and was in Japan.  Later that year a convicted sex offender was charged with her death and her body was found 13 miles from the home.

* She predicted the troops would be home from Iraq in 2004 and then in 2005 and then in 2006.  How awful to hold out false hope like this to families that have loved ones in the line of fire day after day.

* She is also the founder of her own church.

* For the stupidest thing you'll ever see in your life, watch how Sylvia Brown on Montel Williams tells a girl that lost her firefighter boyfriend on September 11th that he died from drowning, "just like that girl in Aruba."

The Bible tells us to beware of false prophets and prophets whose prophecies don't come true.  Beware of Sylvia Browne, she did not bring any comfort to the families involved in the stories mentioned.  Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice."  Listen to Him. He will never leave or forsake you!  And he certainly won't sell you bad information!

(the picture of Sylvia Browne is taken from her website.) 


The Internet: "Do You Who is Talking to Your Kids?"

Internet_safety_with_directions_2Mark Gomez of Clearfield, Utah will be bringing his presentation on "Internet Safety: Facts and Critical Information" to Southern New England, February 11 - 18. The presentation is geared primarily for parents and teachers, but is suitable for social workers, law enforcement and all those working children, adolescents and young adults.

Gomez's presentation is an expose of online victimization techniques and a profile of who is most at risk to online predators.  He includes the "Six Steps Predators Use to Lure Children." The presentation prepares adults to protect children and themselves from predators that are entering our homes through our computer screens.

Detective James McLaughlin of the Keene County Police Department has coined new term, Technophilia, to define a new level of crime associated with the increase of online communication and networking. It is now believed that one in five children are sexually solicited or approached on over the Internet in a one year period of time. Online availability has lead to a new category of crime and social corrosion. You won't want to miss this presentation. Bring a friend that needs this vital information with you.


Angelina Jolie as the Virgin Mary?

Saint_angela_jolie_1 Angelina Jolie as a saint?  As the Virgin Mary?  Yikes!  That's taking celebrity worship and celebrity charity to a new height. I guess that's supposed to be the point of a painting by Kate Krentz hanging in a Florida Gallery that is making quite a stir. She says it is to draw attention to celebrity worship. I don't exactly get it, but I do know it's not good to worship celebrities.

Right now Angelina Jolie is coming out publicly against Madonna's very public adoption of a little boy from Malawi calling it "illegal."

I recently saw an interview with Angelina Jolie about her adoptions, her work as a United Nations Ambassador of Goodwill (she pays for all trips) and her work in poverty stricken countries. She seemed sincere enough and motherhood is definitely changing her (it has a way of doing that!) But as a saint?!? As the Virgin Mary?  Yikes!  Of course she didn't paint the picture of herself, but it sure does show that we have lost our spiritual footing.

Her work with orphans is definitely admirable.  There is an increasing population of them, especially on the continent of Africa.

You can get involved in supporting orphans through a number of great organizations, including our own ministry "Willing Hearts, Helping Hands" where 100% off all support goes directly to the orphans.  Compassion International is also a great ministry.


Will the Real Jesus Stand Up?

Who_do_men_say_i_am_1Jesus. That's one pretty powerful Name! Which explains why so many have used the name to promote themselves, their agendas and their weird ideas to a hungry and desperate public. Some have even claimed to be Jesus!  The most recent claim being Jose Luis Jesus Miranda, who preaches from a warehouse in Florida.

JesusThrough his numerous interviews he has given we can begin to piece together his beliefs and his history.  Jose is 60 years old and born in Puerto Rico.  He says he used to be an evangelical.'  Prior to becoming an evangelical he was a heroin addict. The way the story goes is that he previously ministered in a drug rehabilitation ministry in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  After some years of ministry he began to be disillusioned with the church.  In his more desperate moments he claims that Jesus Christ came to visit him one night.

When Jesus visited him, he says that Jesus disappeared and Jesus disappeared into him. This was, to him, the second coming of Christ. Jesus was now living in him.  By his own testimony he was a bit slow figuring out what happened at that moment and used to consider that he was the apostle Paul. But after growing some, he finally came to realize in 2,000 - the year he says many were waiting for and looking for Jesus to return - that he was Jesus returned.

One of the "proofs" Jose Luis Jesus Miranda gives that he is Jesus is that he does no signs and wonders. Since the Bible says that false Christs and prophets will perform signs to deceive, Miranda claims that he does no signs and wonders as a 'proof' that he is in fact Jesus Christ.

You know what?  Yawn!

There is only one Jesus who is 'the way the truth and the life' and it is not Jose Luis Jesus Miranda!


Amazing Grace at Woodstock and Other Weird A.G. Tunes & Facts

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Amazing Grace at Woodstock?  What?!?!  Sure. Amazing Grace is played everywhere.  Funerals, Weddings, Folk Festivals, Live Aid and Church.  Arlo Guthrie performed it at Woodstock as one of his three songs.  One of the others was "Coming into Los Angeles bringing in a couple of keys (as in kilos of marijuana) don't check my bags if you please Mister Customs Man." Oh well... And you know Willie Nelson has performed it. It's as though Amazing Grace was written for his voice. Even Rod Stewart (You've got to be kidding!) performed it! It's an amazing song (pun intended.)

John Newton might not appreciate it, but some of us have discovered that his song, Amazing Grace, - the most recorded song ever- can be sung to a variety of tunes.  Today in our church we sang the song in its original form, and then I moved us to some more creative forms, including "The House of the Rising Sun,"  to the tune of "Gilligan's Island," and then my newfound arrangement of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."  While goofing around with these together  somebody shouted out "Happy Birthday!" Combining the two seems too difficult on the spot, but when I got home I tried it.  Sure enough Happy Birthday works!  So does "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," "Old MacDonald"  "The Brady Bunch Theme" and even to "Jesus Loves Me!" It's real kick.  What songs can you think of?

On serious side the song itself IS amazing! Here's the story:

"Early in 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain who had known John's father. John Newton ultimately became captain of his own ship, one which plied the slave trade.

Although he had had some early religious instruction from his mother, who had died when he was a child, he had long since given up any religious convictions. However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his “great deliverance.” He recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, “Lord, have mercy upon us.” Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him. (story taken from www.anointedlinks.com

Artists who have recorded the song

The hymn has been recorded by many artists over the last century. Two versions have made the UK Singles Chart; between 1970 and 1972, a version by Judy Collins spent 67 weeks in the charts, a record for a female artist, and peaked at number 5. In 1972, an instrumental version by the Pipes and Drums and Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards spent five weeks at number one, also reaching the top spot in Australia.

  • Aaron Neville
  • Alabama
  • Andy Griffith
  • Anne Murry
  • Ani Difranco: Dilate
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Arlo Guthrie: 1969. Woodstock Festival
  • Auld Town Band and Pipes
  • Avalon
  • BeBe Winans
  • Bill and Gloria Gaither
  • Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Blind Boys Of Alabama
  • Bluebells of Scotland
  • Byrds (Lyve Twytter 1969 Bootleg of Filmore SHow)
  • Canadian Scottish Pipes Regiment
  • Charlotte Church
  • Charlie Rich
  • Cherokee National Children's Choir
  • Chris Squire: Going For The One
  • Chris Tomlin
  • Crabb Family
  • Crystal Lewis on her Hymns CD (With Greg Laurie introducing her)
  • Daniël Lanois
  • Destiny's Child
  • Diana Ross
  • Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  • Doc Watson
  • Dropkick Murphys
  • Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • Eiko Shimamiya: (I'VE) In EIKO SHIMAMIYA LIVE 2005 ULYSSES CD
  • Elvis Presley
  • Flatfoot 56: Knuckles Up (2004). Track 12. (A Celtic punk version which includes a verse of repeated "Praise God!").
  • Frank Ticheli
  • Glen Campbell
  • Golden Books Lullabies
  • Hayley Westenra: Pure
  • Hee HAw Gospel Quartet
  • Hubert Laws
  • Irish Tenors
  • James Galway
  • Janis Joplin
  • Jars of Clay
  • Jeff Beck (on All Star Christmas)
  • Jerry Garcia: The Pizza Tapes
  • Jim Brickman with Ginny Owens
  • Jim Nabors
  • Joan Baez: 1985. Philadelphia stage of Live Aid. Also often reserves the song as the closing number for the most appreciative concert fans.
  • John Fahey
  • Johnny Cash
  • Judy Collins: 1970; re-released in 1971 and again in 1972. Spent 67 weeks on the UK chart. Recorded at St Paul's Chapel, Colombia University.
  • Katherine Jenkins
  • Kikki Danielsson (on her 1982 album "Kikki")
  • Krishna Das: Pilgrim Heart (2005). Track 3.
  • Kylie Minogue: Performed on her Let's Get to It Tour in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo: with Paul Simon on various releases.
  • Laura Love
  • LeAnn Rimes
  • Leadbelly
  • Lee Greenwood
  • Lennon Sisters
  • Lincoln Brewster
  • Lisbeth Scott
  • Mahalia Jackson
  • Michael Crawford
  • Mika Nakashima: Crescent Moon single (2002) as track three, True album (2002) [with differing album version] as track one, Best album (2005) as track one. The version appearing on Best was re-recorded and rearranged (retitled "Amazing Grace (05)")
  • Nan Mouskouri
  • National Philharmonic of London
  • New Orleans Saxaphone Ensamble
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • Oak Ridge Boys
  • Odetta
  • Paul Coleman
  • Pete Fountain
  • Pete Seeger
  • Petra
  • Phil Vassar
  • Phish
  • Ralph Stanley
  • Randy Travis
  • Ray Charles
  • Renee Fleming and Mark O'Conner
  • Rod Stewart
  • Royal Scots Dragoon Guards: 1972. No 1 in the UK.
  • Ruben Studdard
  • Sandi Patty
  • Selah
  • Seven Nations
  • Shinobu Sato (World Music)
  • Shirley Ceasar
  • Sissel
  • Smith Siters
  • Soweto Gospel Choir
  • Statler Brothers
  • Steve Hall
  • Stryper
  • Steve Green
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Susan Aglukark has recorded a version of Amazing Grace in Inuktitut.
  • Suzanne Balcom
  • Taliesin Orchrestra
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford
  • The Black Watch
  • The Charlie Daniels Band
  • The Groundhogs: Who Will Save The World?
  • Todd Agnew performs a rock version called Grace Like Rain
  • Tramaine Hawkins
  • Twila Paris
  • Walela
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Willie Nelson
  • Windham Hil Collection with John Doan
  • Vickie Winans
  • Victor Wooten: Live at Bass Day '98

Is This the Great Grand-Daughter of Mary Magdalene?

Kathleen_mcgowan_the_expected_one Kathleen McGowan, the great, great, great grand-daughter - so she claims - of Mary Magdalene gets her book published by Simon and Schuster on Tuesday, July 26th.

She never really knew that she was a descendant of Jesus Christ until she was in the city of Jerusalem in 1997. While there, she had a vision of Mary Magdalene and later she learned that she had French blood in her lineage.  So....   put the two together and walla! you get a descendant of the Holy Grail.

The most amazing thing about the whole story is that all this happened before the DaVinci Code came out. Wow!

The book isn't about her ancestry, it's a novel. The cover of her book, has displayed prominently on the front, "A Novel." The DaVinci Code had the same. And that's only where the similarities begin.  In this story a scroll written by Mary Magdalene herself is found and then the fun begins.

The book - a novel - written by Mary Magdalene's descendant has murder, intrigue, religious backgrounds, architecture, history.. Wait a minute!!!  Are you sure this is not the DaVinci Code?  Yawn!!!

You can read a portion of the book here.   

I'm not a prophet, but I'm going to make a guess and say this book will not have anywhere near the success that DaVinci had.  The story line is getting old.

Beginning in September look for her on CNN, Inside Edition and Good Morning America. Kathleen will be on the road this summer promoting her new book.  If she is near you, go pay her a visit and pray for her.

How come everybody gets all excited about these strange books about Jesus, but they don't get very excited about Jesus?  I think it's because the heart is designed by God to be drawn to Jesus. But Jesus bids us to come and bow, to come to worship. Humbling ourselves and surrendering ourselves doesn't come easy. So we prefer a Jesus we can control , rather than the real Jesus, who is King of kings and Lord of lords for ever. And ever!

The picture above was taken by Mary Ann Halpin for Simon and Schuster.


Coors Beer Magnate Has One Too Many

Peter_coors Peter Coors, of the Coors Brewing family got stopped the other day after having one too many. They say the most common line people use when asked how much they have been drinking say, "I had two."  Two what? Six packs?  Cases?  "I only had two Officer."  At least Peter Coors admitted it.  They stopped him after some of that slide through the stop sign action. He almost made it home, but they stopped him at his driveway.

The Coors family, extravagantly rich that they are, have had their share of trouble and heartache over the years. In 1960 Adolph Coors III was kidnapped at gunpoint when he drove out of his driveway. He was missing for months, when he was finally found dead. Joseph Corbett, who had hoped to extract a fortune from the family killed him. Corbett was eventually arrested, tried and sent to prison.

Adolph Coors son, Adolph IV (who was 5 when his dad was kidnapped) had a terrible time dealing with the death of his father and became a very bitter and angry person.  In 1975 he gave his life to Christ.  After some time, the Holy Spirit began to convict him that he needed to do as Jesus did, and forgive. 

Coors decided that he would visit Corbett in prison and bring him a Bible. Corbett, unfortunately refused to see Coors, but he left him the Bible and a note. Only God could do that!  The note that Adolf Coors left said, "I came to see you, and am sorry we could not meet. As a Christian I am summoned by our Lord Jesus to forgive.  I do forgive you and I ask you to forgive me for the hatred I have held in my heart for you."  Wow!

If you want a free CD of Adolph Coors testimony, "It's the Water," visit our church website at www.revelation320.org and send us an email asking for it. We would be thrilled to send it to you!