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Philanthropy is the act of giving money, goods, or services to charitable causes. It's a Christian concept. God says a great deal in His Word about wealth, and philanthropy is one major focus.

In Proverbs, God says that "one man gives freely, yet gains even more, another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell" (11:24-26).In 1 Timothy, we're told to "be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share" (6:18).

Giving is an expected part of the Christian life, not only in the form of a tithe to God, but also as offerings to good causes over and above our tithe. In all this, we are to be cheerful givers (I Cor. 9:7).

Christians in colonial times took God's giving commands so seriously that they encouraged each other to give even more than tithes and offerings in order to endow schools, colleges, orphanages, missions and more. In fact, a person who died in possession of great wealth was disdained as a poor steward.

Philanthropy is not just a task and an opportunity of the wealthy. It is the responsibility of every Christian within the level of means God has provided. In the New Testament, Jesus praised the Widow for her faithful and sacrificially given mite, one of the smallest of Middle Eastern coins.

God blesses all gifts given in true charity.God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He does not need your gift, but He expects it and He will use it.


© Rex M. Rogers –All Rights Reserved, 2010

Revised "Making a Difference" program #136 originally recorded, September 22, 1994.

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part but must include a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at


One of my “bucket list” items is to visit all 13 official presidential and museums/libraries, along with the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

Until about four years ago I’d visited only one, the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Then my wife and I, along with our daughter in law, visited the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. Outstanding. Still, it didn’t occur to me that visiting all of them might be fun.

A couple of years later Sarah and I went to Kansas City and took time to drive the short distance to Independence to visit the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. I had just finished reading David McCullough’s Truman, so my understanding of President’s Truman’s Administration and impact were fresh. He was a homespun but highly effective leader and the number of major decisions he made with long-term historical impact were amazing.

That did it. From there it dawned on me that visiting all the presidential museums might be both possible and fun. Since that time I’ve been able to visit a few more, including one in the past week. I recommend the same goal to you. Here’s a summary of what I’ve enjoyed so far:

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum – I always felt I had some distant emotional tie to Mr. Ford, largely because August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his intention to resign, August 9, 1974 President Nixon resigned and Mr. Ford took the oath of office as President, and August 10, 1974, Sarah and I got married. So it was a great weekend for a young man interested in politics and a certain young lady.

The museum is located along the river in Grand Rapids while the library is located at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The museum is not huge but nice, includes a replica of the Oval Office during the Ford Administration, and does a lot with the shortest presidency in history, focusing especially upon the Nixon Pardon. President Ford lived longer than any previous president, passed away at 93, and is buried on site.

Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum – For me so far, the Reagan Museum is the Gold Standard of presidential museums. It is located on a hilltop with a view of the Pacific in the distance, features a large section on Reagan’s Hollywood years and another large section on the presidency. All the president’s signatures are engraved in the wood-paneled walls of the entryway, which is a distinctive and intriguing feature. Nancy Reagan is given her due as is the Reagans’s love for their mountaintop ranch. Reagan’s gifts as the “Great Communicator” are available in audio and video throughout.

Without question, though, the most impressive exhibit in the museum is the jet that Reagan, along with Ford, Carter, both Bushes, Clinton, used as Air Force One. Alongside the jet in what amounts to a museum hanger is the helicopter Reagan used as Marine One, as well as his automobile. You can walk through the jet. I had walked through FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower’s planes years before, which are housed at Wright Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, but seeing Reagan’s jet is on another level. President Reagan is buried on site.

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum – Truman’s museum is small by comparison to others built today, but I doubt you can find more significant history per square foot than this museum offers. Surviving an assassination attempt, firing General Douglas MacArthur, ending WWII with the Atom Bomb, the United Nations, NATO, full renovation of the White House, recognition of Israel in 1948, the Marshall Plan, and more. My favorite presidential picture is featured here. It’s Truman in Independence walking away from the camera in topcoat and hat, out for his traditional morning walk—alone—the next morning after arriving home from relinquishing the most powerful office in the world. Truman retired with no pension—that came later for him and subsequent presidents due to the work of his friends in Congress—and no continuing Secret Service protection. He didn’t believe he should use the stature of the presidency to earn money after the presidency. It was a different era. President and Mrs. Truman are buried on site.

Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum – Nixon’s museum is also small by comparison to the ones being built today, is located along a main street in Yorba Linda, California, includes his boyhood home on the property, and one of his helicopters. Watergate is featured, but a debate is currently underway about how to portray associated events and with what tone or critique. President and Mrs. Nixon are buried on site. I enjoyed the visit because it brought back so many memories from my early college interest in politics, and 1972 was the first presidential election in which I voted. But I left feeling a bit down and realized it was a feeling of betrayal (I used this in an article I wrote about betrayal). Nixon’s is a leadership that might have been.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum – The Eisenhower Museum is located in his hometown, Abilene, Kansas, is small by present standards, is beginning to show its age so is in need of a facelift, and is, like the Truman Museum, packed with World War II history, including an amazing array of medals given to General Eisenhower by grateful nations of the world. A distinctive feature is Eisenhower’s boyhood home located on its original foundation. In other words, the museum, library, and chapel where the President and Mrs. Eisenhower are buried are located on the family and nearby property in Abilene. So Ike played in that yard, walked barefoot in that field, etc. Interesting.

Jimmy Carter Library and Museum – Mr. Carter’s Museum, Library, and the Carter Center are located in Atlanta on Freedom Parkway, not far from the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. The museum was closed for several months in summer 2009 for total renovation, reopening in October. The museum is first class, features cutting edge technology including a tabletop touch screen computer that amounts to a kind of 22 foot iPhone. President Carter’s Nobel Prize and he and Mrs. Carter’s Presidential Freedom Medals are on display and there are an abundant number of videos of Carter Administration events or interviews with the Carters. It is truly a beautiful museum and setting.

I have a few more to go.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part but must include a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Seeing a friend in a casket is a sad and sobering experience. Feelings especially true when the friend died suddenly, without warning and yet young. “Viewing” provides “closure,” the experts say, and the practice provides an occasion to express support and sympathy to members of your friend’s family. But it’s not fun, and only in cases when the deceased has left a life of suffering do we consider this time a relief.

People sometimes misinterpret the Christian theology of death. Some of them think Christians are pretty sanguine when it comes to death. Not usually. Christians are as bothered by death as anyone else.

God never told us we had to like death, only that we need not fear it. Death is still a separation, even from a person we know is now with the Lord. Death is still a transition. It’s an absence. It removes from our daily lives people we care about. So we feel the loss and we don’t like it.

Nor do we have to like death. It’s OK to grieve.

But Christians have hope, so we do not and should not grieve as those who have no hope. We know the end of the story and we know the Author of the story. We don’t just believe. We know God is still in charge, is not surprised by death, and is still a God of love. We know Christ has already defeated sin and its result—death—on the cross and in his resurrection. Our hope built upon certainty.

Christians do sometimes deal with death differently, so maybe that’s where the idea came from that we’re not bothered by death. For example, while there’s nothing wrong with wearing black to a funeral it isn’t really a Christian M.O. I know that’s what’s always shown in movies, especially funerals in New York City, but wearing black is more about tradition than Christianity. Christians mourn, but they recognize that it’s one thing to mourn and another thing to be morose. Sometimes Christians want to wear their hope in brightly colored clothing. It’s possible to do so while respecting the deceased. But again, there’s nothing wrong with wearing black either. It’s our knowledge and attitude that count for more.

Christians also sometimes conduct funerals that come off like celebrations. This is especially true when the deceased friend or family member has lived a long, full, and godly life. His or her time has come. He or she is spiritually and emotionally ready to meet the Lord, ready to go, ready to renew bonds with loved ones gone before. Such funerals are promotions. I recently attended a funeral for an 80-something friend that was all of that. Remembering him and his life was “fun,” if you can use that word at a funeral. He would have been much pleased, and we know he’s in heaven.

The most difficult experience is the funeral of a friend who, as far as you know, never placed his or her faith in Christ. How do you remain hopeful in this instance? You literally mourn his or her loss and you pray for, focus on, and invest in the loved ones left behind. Would to God that he awakens them and grants them a peace that passes understanding.

So, No, I don’t like seeing a friend in a casket.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

This blog may be reproduce in whole or in part but must include a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

I've often been reminded that Christian hope is not like any other kind of hope. Christian hope is not a vain wish for what might be. Christian hope is a trust in what will be. Christian hope is based upon Christ's completed work, so our hope may be confident...not anxious, not arrogant, but confident.

This is very important. We're told by some people that the future is a matter of chance, fate, or luck. Some of these people think God doesn't exist, and some believe God can't do much even if He does exist. People who think like this sometimes end up in one of two extremes. Either they go off the deep end of hedonism, trying to escape their meaningless life in short-term pleasure. Or, they end up in the severe despair of nihilism, wishing they'd never been born and sometimes even taking their own life.

Now there is another kind of misplaced hope. Some people believe they can control the future. For them, hope for humanity and their own lives is tied up with technology or other kinds of scientific advances. Their hope is optimistic but ultimately baseless. They place their hope in human potential while rejecting God and ignoring the reality of sin. Just check the history of the Twentieth Century for a record of technological advance run amok in world wars.

So what are we left with?

On the one hand we find no hope and on the other hand groundless hope. One is pessimistic the other is optimistic.

People faced with a pessimistic future seek relief in the drug culture, alcohol, or some other emotional tranquilizer. People who assume an optimistic future tend to worship the idols of materialism, eternal youth, or leisure.

But true Christian hope is balanced. It's never pessimistic, because Christians know the Creator and Savior. We know the beginning and the end of the human story, and we know it's all in God's sovereign care. Christian hope is realistically optimistic. We acknowledge the presence of sin in the world, but we know the Lord will make things right.

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast." For the Christian--hope really is eternal.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

Revised "Making a Difference" program #012 originally recorded February 5, 1993.

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part but must include a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow at

Join Sarah and me for a trip to the Middle East. See the Holy Land, learn more about SAT-7's spiritually strategic ministry, see the Pyramids and more...

Learn more details and get complete sign-up information at All Points Cruising.

March 3, 2011 Depart JKF Airport in NYC

March 4 Arrive Tel Aviv - Hotel

March 5-9 Palestine - Bethlehem Bible College, Christmas Lutheran Church, Galilee and Nazareth area, Palestinian believers, Jerusalem/Bethlehem sites, Via Dolorosa, Calvary, Garden Tomb

March 9 Depart Tel Aviv - Arrive, Larnaca, Cyprus early Wednesday morning, visit SAT-7 Office and lunch with staff

March 9-11  SAT-7 Network, 15th Anniversary meetings, celebration, meet regional staff and European Partners, producers, directors, regional church leaders, spiritual challenge, Middle East ministry update, SAT-7 impact, beach, shopping

March 12-14 Depart Larnaca - Arrive Cairo, SAT-7 Studios, Egyptian believers, Pyramids, Bible Society of Egypt, Egyptian Museum with King Tut, Bazaar and shopping, Kasr El Dubara Evangelical Church, Cave Church and Garbage City, mosques, churches

March 15 Depart Cairo to JFK, NYC

*In development, so some travel details may change. Costs to be determined later when airlines establish airfares.  Space is limited, so make your reservation early.

Learn more at All Points Cruising and sign up today.

For more information, contact SAT-7 USA, P.O. Box 2770, Easton, MD 21601. Toll Free (866) 744-7287, FAX (410) 770-9807.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2010

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at


Hussein Hajji Wario’s own story, Cracks in the Crescent (2009), is a truly remarkable testimony of God’s grace. Born and raised in Kenya, Wario grew up in a devout Sunni Muslim family, attended madrassa (Islamic primary school), and became a muadhin (a person who calls Muslims to pray). But just prior to beginning high school, Wario came to saving faith in Jesus Christ, a conversion that both changed his life forever and the world he lived in immediately.

Wario endured more than five years of persecution. His family rejected him, more than one brother attempted to beat him, a sister tried to poison him, members of his small tribal community berated him, chased him, threw rocks at him, stole his property, lied about him, and conspired with local authorities to arrest or otherwise harass him. While his family enjoyed financial means they refused to continue supporting his education. Yet God provided finances, a few Christian friends who protected and discipled him, and an amazing resolve to follow Christ at any cost.

How Wario acquired copies of the Scripture, growing up in a Muslim community, let alone heard about the truth of Jesus and eventually received Him, is an incredible demonstration of God’s providence. From a memory seared for life by emotional and physical travail, Wario relates the potentially life-threatening experiences he faced, simply because he decided not to be a Muslim.

Apologist Ravi Zacharias said that a person must be free to disbelieve or he or she is not truly free. This is Wario’s story. Though the Kenyan national constitution guaranteed his civil right to freedom of religion, his religious community recognized no such liberty. For his family, for his tribal relatives, for his fellow students at several schools, Wario’s rejection of Islam in favor of Christianity was tantamount to treason and deserving of forced re-conversion to Islam—or death.

When despite all odds Wario graduated at the top of his class he obtained employment translating the Orma language. And he emerged as a notable debater with Muslim contacts and clerics who would at least listen and perhaps respond without violence. A short time later through another series of providential provisions Wario secured a passport, traveled to the United States, and eventually completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion at Hope College in Michigan. As a 30-something Wario now lives in the United States and travels and speaks regularly about Islam and Christianity.

This book is both engaging and moving. You cannot learn about the challenge, risk, and total commitment of Wario’s young Christian life without comparing it to your own, which if it’s like mine, entailed no persecution and certainly no threat to life or limb. Reading the book makes you grateful once again for spiritual liberty in Christ and for political/personal liberty in a free society.

Wario concludes with two useful chapters examining controversial and vastly important topics: the Islamic depiction of Jesus Christ and the Islamic presentation of Prophet Muhammad as the Promised Comforter (the Holy Spirit). With his understanding of the Qur’an and the aHadith (sayings of Muhammad) as well as the Bible, Wario provides an articulate and concise resource for anyone wishing to learn more about Islam and how to speak respectfully and lovingly, but accurately, with Muslim friends.

I highly recommend this book. I cannot say that it is “enjoyable” to read because much of Wario’s story is heart-wrenching. But his story is an authentic reminder that God is great and his Son Jesus died and rose again for all who seek and received him. It’s also a reminder that American Christians must become wiser and more conversant in the ways of Islam so that we may properly engage Muslims spiritually and politically at home and abroad.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part but with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at