How to Iron out your Faith

From The Eagle Tribune in North Andover, MA.
Mary Jo Coady walked into her daughter's bedroom Sunday afternoon and noticed a familiar image on the bottom of an iron sitting on the floor.

"I see his eyes, his nose, his whole face and I was like, 'That's Jesus looking at us,'" Coady said.

The rust-colored residue on the bottom of the iron strikes a remarkable resemblance to Jesus Christ. For the 44-year-old secretary who was raised Catholic, the image reaffirmed her faith at a time when she has separated from her husband, had her hours cut at work, and moved out of a house she owned and started renting a home where she now lives with her two college-age daughters.

"It just gave me a sign that life is going to be good," Coady said. "I think he's listening."

Coady said she hopes her story will lift other people's spirits in time for the holidays. Her daughters — Melody, a 21-year-old student at Northern Essex Community College, and Alison, a 20-year-old student at Merrimack College — aren't ones to overreact to an iron.

"They wouldn't believe this if it hit them in the head, and they were like, 'Mom, that's Jesus looking at us,'" Coady said.
My kids would see religious images on our iron, in our mop strings, and in the corner cobwebs too, if they thought it was going to keep them from chores or doing the laundry.

Who said this, Jesus or Obama?

A majority of US adults wrongly believe that a Bible verse on caring for the poor and the oppressed was first coined by celebrities, politicians or other prominent figures including President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bono and Angelina Jolie.

Only 13 per cent of Americans surveyed for the American Bible Society were able to correctly credit the Bible as the source of Proverbs 31:8-9, the Contemporary English Version of which states: “You must defend those who are helpless and have no hope. Be fair and give justice to the poor and homeless.”

Fifty-four per cent, meanwhile, credited the passage to other sources, with President Obama cited as the most likely author by Americans (16 per cent). Behind Obama, the Dalai Lama was cited as the most likely author by survey participants (nine per cent), followed by Martin Luther King Jr (eight per cent), Oprah Winfrey (four per cent), and U2 frontman Bono (three per cent).

Other findings of the Harris Interactive survey included the percentage of adults claiming to be familiar with the Bible (80 per cent) and the percentage adults who think the Bible offers the most teachings on heaven, hell, adultery, pride or jealousy (46 per cent).

The survey also found that one in four men (23 per cent) do not think it is their responsibility to help the poor though there are more teachings on poverty and justice than on heaven, hell, adultery, pride or jealousy.

-adapted from Joshua A Goldberg, Christian Post

Reimbursement for Prayers

I don't know what you believe about the healing attributes of prayer.

I don't know what you think about compensating professional ministers.

I don't know where you side with the current debate over healthcare reform.

But I do hope, dear reader, that you agree with me that the Christian Scientists have crossed a line. They are are pushing a proposal that would help patients pay their ministers for prayers of healing by having insurers reimburse the $20 to $40 cost.

Yep, that is right. They pray for you and then bill your insurance (or the Government, if the public option goes through) and get a check at the end of the month.

Church as business. Once again, Jesus weeps.

Thanks to faithful reader, Rocky, who pointed out this Washington Post article.

Can Christians say the F Word?

A tattooed blogger from Portland, Oregon named Pam had the audacity to suggest in her blog that sometimes Christians may need to need emote a curse word in order to really get to the core of their cause.
Authenticity has become a well-worn word. And also transparency, realness, honesty, and the almighty F bomb...F*ck. Yes. Just about every angsty, disaffected Christ follower I meet ends up reaching deep down into their vocabulary bag as they search for the right words to describe their divorce from traditional church. The F word, apparently, is just the right word to say outloud with emotive force what has been pent up and brewing for years, and even decades, for some folks.

The F word has unwittingly become the rebel yell for those men and women who find themselves at odds with church culture. Outlaws and sailors need to make room for disillusioned Jesus Freaks to grab an F bomb and hurl it at the stained-glass. windows
Are you serious, Pam? Do you really think that a writer who was truly full of the Holy Spirit would be so angry at religiosity that they would hurl an offensive comment to someone else? It's not like the Apostle Paul ever got so angry at the legalists that he told them to go cut off their balls. Oh wait...

Well it's not like Jesus ever got so mad that in the temple that he ever through a tantrum, yelling at people and throwing their belongings around. Oh wait...

Crap. Maybe we sometimes forget what actually makes Jesus upset.

Where Jesus would live if not for Heaven

The Squirrel just found him a new neighborhood full of nuts!

Wii Pray - Play Now To Earn Grace Points

Now I know what to get my Catholic friends for Christmas.

Click here to go to the Mass We Pray website.

No Application, No Attendance at Mel Gibson's Church

Mel Gibson has a church about as weird as Tom Cruise. In order to attend you must fill out an application so that your name can appear on the invitation and security list. Most churches try to get as many people into their sanctuary as they can. But apparently Holy Family Chapel delights in keeping any unholy riffraff out.

This JoS vote will go to "hype" as we think Mel is thinking just a bit too high of himself in this matter. Just because you directed Jesus in a film doesn't mean you get to call the shots as to who is in the Kingdom.

Only one word for you, Mel, "FREEDOM!"

[link to the application]

Best quotes of the week from Carrie Prejean

From a conversation with Christianity Today. The Squirrel's comments follow each quote.

  • “I have hairdressers who are gay. I live in California.”

    Aren't you just the tolerant one?

  • “I know I've impacted other people, especially my generation. I think my generation is apathetic.”

    And most of your generation thinks you’re pathetic.

  • “I don't see anywhere in the Bible where it says you shouldn't get breast implants.”

    The Bible apparently doesn’t say anything about sex tapes or sexting either.

  • “If people want to judge me and say that I'm not a good person because of something I did when I was young, that's their problem.”

    [Crickets chirping]
  • "We as Christians need to stick together and realize that the Enemy is powerful, and that there are so many people out there who will try and destroy good people. It's a crazy world, that's all I can say."

    Crazy is as crazy does.
  • “Hopefully mothers can hear my story and check their daughters' cell phones and Facebook pages.”

    Would better policing have stopped your bad behavior, Carrie? There has got to be more to learn from your story than that.

Since Carrie, like the Saturday Night Live Church Lady, blames Satan (the enemy) for the opposition she has faced, we will give him the vote for this JoS entry.

The Tribulation Stats Tomorrow!

Three reasons not to click on the link to THE RAPTURE site:
  • It will hurt your eyes.
  • It is longer than Dickens
  • It will destroy the brain cells God gave you.
Here is a sample:
8 reasons for the start of: “God’s Wrath Tribulation”;

By end of FALL 2009:

1. The Bible code and a number of other prophecies predict that a comet will annihilate the earth in the year 2012. In the book of Revelation the bible describes a comet hitting the earth after the 3-½ year mid point of the 7-year tribulation period. This occurs after the Antichrist enters the new rebuilt temple in Jerusalem proclaims that he is the Lord and demands the world to accept his mark in order to buy or sell. When this happens the Lord releases Hell on earth! If you add 3 ½ years from November 2008, that takes you to the year 2012.

2. It has been a generation (40 years) from the date that Israel once again gained control of Jerusalem after 2,000 years during the 6 day war of 1967. We are also coming up on the 6th decade anniversary (60 years) of when Israel became a nation. Jesus said that the generation that sees the rebirth of Israel would see His return. When he comes back to earth after the 7-year tribulation, it would be (67 years) well within a modern generation of (70 years).

3. Experts are predicting a “complete global economic collapse starting by FALL 2009”! This is a complete economic collapse (both stock market and banking collapse) that will start the 7-year tribulation period.

4. Global food supply is near the breaking point and out the lowest level in 30 years! The world demand for food now out strips what the farmers can grow! To make matters worse, the Honeybees are dying off! One-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination. Experts are predicting food shortages by the spring of 2009.

5. Drought is at an epidemic level, worldwide! China, Australia, and even states in the United States are reporting lake and river levels lower than records have been kept (some going back over 160 years)! Where there is drought, food shortages will soon follow.

6. Jesus said that before his return that earthquakes, travel, and knowledge would increase. In the last 100 years each of these have been increasing at an exponential rate!

7. President George W. Bush has announced that there will be a peace treaty dividing up Jerusalem before his term expires in early 2009. The bible predicts that the 7-year tribulation will begin in conjunction with the signing of a 7-year peace treaty. All of these factors and the ones listed below are coming together simultaneously to produce the “perfect storm” of the 7-year tribulation starting by FALL 2009.

8. 2008/2009 is the end of the biblical 490-year cycle and the war of Gog and Magog--Ezekiel 38 & 39 is prophesied to happen this year.
I wish they'd agree to take down their website when all of their predictions don't take place by the end of autumn. Instead I'm sure they will find several more biblical interpretations to why 2010 is the real tribulation.

Jesus gave us the name of the Anti-Christ – Barack Obama

The Squirrel just shakes his furry, little head in dismay at those people who give this kind of Bible study a second, deranged thought.

Real Christians Read Greek

This is one of The Squirrel's favorite songs!

The Best of Late Night Christian TV Shows

The Squirrel has been known to watch late night Christian programming, chattering incoherently and throwing nuts at the screen. See for yourself.

Props to Darrin Patrick at Monday Morning Insight for this video.

You Get What You Pray/Pay For

From the files of Ministry Manipulation...
Real Ministers, Real Prayers, Real Results
Recent studies have indicated that the more people praying for the same objective, the more likely the Holy Spirit will perform the will of the people! The key to successful prayer is to ensure others are performing the same prayer and that those performing the prayer have a deep, spiritual connection with God. Our Prayers for You connects your prayer requests with ordained ministers who will devote the proper divine attention to your request. We guarantee our ministers will have a deep, spiritual conversation with God regarding your request.

Why do I need to donate for a prayer?
Our ministers spend their entire day conducting deeply spiritual prayers on behalf of thousands of people just like you! They live very modest lives so they do not ask for much. But your generous support allows them to continue helping others in times of need and crisis. Bless you for your support.

Where do I send my prayer request details?
After selecting your prayer request kindly email us at with the details of your prayer request, be sure to include your order number so we can properly match the prayer request.
How about all of the JoS readers pray that this pseudo-ministry goes as bankrupt as their theology? - Free!

New Church Growth Concept- Invite Dogs to the Service

USA Today

Every week, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles holds "Canines at Covenant," a service for dogs and their owners, featuring dog treats, dog beds, prayers for pets and even special music, such as "GoD and DoG" (see video below).

"I don't have any kids, so my pets have always been my children, so it does mean a lot," Emma Sczesniak told the Associated Press. Accompanied by her Dachshund-terrier mix and black Lab, she said that though she'd fallen away from church, the dog-friendly service "might push me into it."

Laura Hobgood-Oster, a religion professor at Southwestern University, says she's heard of a half-dozen pet-friendly services in the U.S. -- for instance, "Woof 'n' Worship" held at Pilgrim Congregational Church outside of Boston -- though traditionally Christians believe only humans have redeemable souls.
The Squirrel finds this act reprehensible. He's afraid that the dogs will leave their offerings on the church lawn.

Send a Buffalo to India for Christmas! Wait. What?

According to Christian Today:
British families have helped send buffaloes to impoverished families in India by meeting Operation Mobilisation’s challenge to spend less at Christmas.

The ‘Just Christmas’ campaign is the brainchild of an Edinburgh church and was first launched nationwide by OM in 2008 to great success. OM said several buffaloes had already been sent following the recent launch of this year's campaign.

The campaign encourages individuals, families and whole churches to rediscover the true spirit of Christmas by replacing gifts with practical acts of kindness and pooling the money that they save to bring joy and hope to a poor family.

This year’s campaign focus is to send buffaloes to oppressed Dalit families in India, who are often denied access to well paid jobs. They can sell the buffalo’s highly prized milk to gain some much needed income.
Wait a minute!
  • They worship cows in India, don't they? What will a poor family do with a buffalo? They certainly won't eat it. Maybe they can charge their neighbors to see the beast.
  • Have you ever tried to milk a buffalo? This impoverished family is just going to get tossed around from trying to milk them. Then they will have hospital bills on top of their poverty.
  • How again is this the true meaning of Christmas? God sends Baby Jesus to the Bethlehem and the British send bison to Bombay?

Ringo Starr Competing with Jesus' Popularity

RESEARCHERS at Duke University, North Carolina, have spotted Ringo Starr’s face into water droplets hitting a leaf.

James Dacey, a reporter for Physics World, writes:

“Bizarrely, everybody’s favourite mop-topped Liverpudlian seems to reveal himself in the high-speed photo images of water-droplets being ejected from the leaf surface.”
Stay tuned. I'm sure Jesus will turn up again to even the score.

How to Know if Jesus Wants your Truck

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Jim Stevens said he's not particularly religious and is clueless about why an image resembling Jesus Christ keeps appearing on his pickup. Stevens, of Jonesborough, said nearly every morning, an image that looks to him like the face of Jesus Christ has appeared in the condensation on the driver's side window of his Isuzu truck. A Johnson City Press photo of the truck showed a facial image.

Stevens said when he first saw the image, he figured it would evaporate and not return. But it kept reappearing for two weeks now.

Stevens said folks at the grocery store he goes to were amazed to see the image.

He said he isn't going to wash the truck for a while.

Information from: Johnson City Press
I'd sell the truck, Jim, quickly to one of his hyped up followers. Then you could buy an American truck- cause we all know that is what Jesus would really drive.

Publishing for Prudes and Protestants

One Christian publisher has created the following list of terms that are forbidden to be used in a Christian, romance novel. (Thanks to Jason Boyett who posted these on his blog.) Apparently we are never to refer to our undergarments, Mike, or Catholic neighbors.

I'm considering taping the list to my kids' bedroom doors as a guideline for their language/behavior as well. That will work, right?
Terms that cannot be used in a Christian novel:
  • Arousal
  • Bastard
  • Bet/betting
  • Bishop
  • Bra
  • Breast (except for breast cancer if necessary)
  • Buttocks or butt (alternatively, you can say derriere or backside)
  • Crap
  • Damn (try "blast" instead)
  • Darn
  • Dern/durn
  • Devil (except in the religious sense, but the circumstances would be rare)
  • Dang or Dagnabbit
  • Doody
  • Father (when used to describe a religious official)
  • Fiend
  • For heaven's sake (can use "for goodness' sake" instead)
  • For the love of Mike
  • For Pete's sake
  • Gee
  • Geez/jeez (but "sheesh" is acceptable)
  • Gosh
  • Golly
  • Halloween
  • Harlot
  • Heat (when used to describe kisses)
  • Heck
  • Hell (except in the religious sense, but this would be rare)
  • Holy cow
  • Hot/hottie
  • Hunk
  • Need/hunger (when used to describe non-food-focused state of being)
  • Pee
  • Poop
  • Panties
  • Passion
  • Priest
  • Sexy
  • Sex
  • Sexual attraction
  • Tempting (as applied to the opposite sex)
  • St. [name of saint]
  • Swear, as in "I swear..." - Christian characters are not supposed to swear.
  • Undergarments - of any kind
  • Whore
The following are allowed only in the context mentioned:
  • Angel - only when used in a Biblical context
  • Miracle - only when used in a Biblical context
  • Oh my God/Oh, God - ONLY allowed when it's clearly part of a prayer
  • Heavenly - only when used in a Biblical context
  • Although you can say “He cursed” or mention cursing, do not overuse. Furthermore, only non-Christian characters can curse.
Situations to be avoided:
  • Kissing below the neck
  • Visible signs or discussions of arousal or sexual attraction or being out of control
  • Double entendre
  • Nudity - people changing clothes "on screen" or any character clad only in a towel
  • Hero and heroine sleeping in the same house without a third party, even if they're not sleeping together or in the same room
  • Also, Christian characters should not smoke, drink, gamble, play cards or dance (except in historical novels they may dance but please limit to square dances and balls, no “sexy” dancing like waltzing cheek to cheek), and terms associated with these activities should only be used in connection with bad guys or disapproving of them or such.
  • Bodily functions, like going to the bathroom, should be mentioned as little as possible and some euphemism may be necessary but we don't want to sound quaint or absurd.

Virtual Friendships Don't Matter Do They?

I dare you to watch this video.

Maybe Jesus wouldn't have pulled these two out on stage for a commercial in front of lights, cameras, and thousands of people, but I'm pretty sure he was smiling at Jimmy and Mark in this moment nonetheless.