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February 19 2005 By virtueonline History's Bestseller, Part Four

William Gladstone, three times Prime Minister of Great Britain once said, "If asked what is the remedy for the deeper sorrows of the human heart, what a man should chiefly look to in his progress as the power that is to sustain him under trials and enable him to confront his inevitable afflictions, I must point him to something which in a well-known hymn is called 'The old, old story,' told in an old, old Book, which is the greatest and best gift ever given to mankind."

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February 15 2005 By virtueonline No Excuses

We can play these silly games as a society, with each other and sadly, even in our churches, but we cannot play them with God. The all-knowing, all-seeing, all powerful Creator of the universe is not fooled nor amused at the excuses we make for our failures and neglect. Society would have us believe it's not our fault that we are undisciplined, addicted, lazy, overweight, fearful, or ignorant. It makes us feel better when we can point to the "experts" who validate that is not "our fault."

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February 03 2005 By virtueonline History's Bestseller - Part Three

Why is the Bible so desirable to those who do not have one of their own? Why is it considered so valuable? What are the characteristic features that mark it as special? Books have to be written by authors. The Bible is authored by writers who were especially qualified to write about their subjects. What were their qualifications? What makes their writings unique? Let me take as an example the person of Peter the apostle.

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January 27 2005 By virtueonline HISTORY’S BESTSELLER – PART TWO

In 1526 William Tyndale printed the first English New Testament directly from the Greek. He had to do it in Germany because the English church hierarchy had prohibited the translation. Tyndale managed to smuggle Bibles into England and they spread throughout the country. When news of their arrival leaked out the church authorities gathered up as many as they could find and burned them in a bonfire in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

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January 21 2005 By virtueonline History's Bestseller: Part One

Why is the Bible history’s bestseller? Why has it retained its perennial appeal? Why do we read it, study it, discuss it, and are concerned that others learn from it? Why is it so important? What is so thrilling about it?

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Growing up in New Zealand, we were taught earthquake drill in our school. Seeing the sea roil offshore from my home town and experiencing shock waves is a sobering experience. We were aware that the whole country was created by volcanic activity. New Zealand would not exist if volcanoes had not risen above the Pacific, and then became extinct, or dormant. What had been created in that way can also be destroyed by the same action. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

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January 09 2005 By virtueonline THE CHURCH, WHY BOTHER? - by Ted Schroder

1. Enlightentment individualism and opposition to any authority, which is enshrined in aspects of the Protestant Reformation and the American Revolution. Individual interpretation of the Bible led to personal choice and the founding of many denominations and independent churches. It is a consumer mentality.

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January 03 2005 By virtueonline A PRAYER FOR THE BEGINNING OF A YEAR

We thank thee, O blessed Lord God, that while another year has passed away, and thousands and tens of thousand precious souls have departed to the eternal world, we yet survive; that we have been, by thy merciful providence, conducted through a thousand perils to this present time. Help us, O heavenly Father, so to number our days, and so duly to consider the shortness and uncertainty of human life, that we may apply our hearts to true wisdom.

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The play, Peter Pan, has as one of its themes the desire to avoid growing old, and dying. It is the story of a boy who flees the prospect of adulthood and goes to a place where he can remain a child forever, ruling a gang of ‘lost boys’ who have been abandoned by their mothers.

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December 24 2004 By virtueonline CHRISTMAS AND MIRACLES

The most popular Christmas movie this year is THE POLAR EXPRESS, produced by Tom Hanks. A boy dreams of contacting Santa Claus. He dreams that a train picks up children who take a night-time ride to the North Pole to see Santa Claus. Some of the children are skeptical about Christmas. Some have been disappointed in the past and are afraid to hope that Santa will come for them on Christmas morning. Some doubt that Santa exists.

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