The shopping mall is a dangerous place. You know that, right? And I'm not just talking about the potential thief in the parking lot or the danger of having someone steal your credit card information. I'm talking about something much worse. I'm talking about danger for our souls.
I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a word in the English language that is more overused and a concept that is more underused than "love."
Those of us who consider ourselves conservatives need to understand that conservatism to the Republican hierarchy is defined differently than we define it. And those who consider themselves Republicans because they still believe the party represents what it did at its inception or what it did under President Reagan must understand that's no longer the case.
What are you standing on?
When's the last time you've felt excited about giving an offering at church - I mean really excited? If you've been reading this column for the past month, you might remember that when I was in Nigeria, I wrote about how excited the Nigerians got about "offering time!" with the dancing and music accompanying the bringing of their gifts, spending at least an hour of their service giving their monetary offerings.
Christmas is a time when we celebrate the paradoxical story of God becoming a human being. It is a story which upends most of the world's history of approaching God. While other religions usually attempt to span that unfathomable gap between God and humanity by human effort, Christianity claims that God solved the problem by becoming one of us.
The section of God's Word we're looking at today is Luke 23:35-43. It's the story of Christ on the cross. That might seem like an odd section of Scripture to be looking at at this time of the year, but it's chosen because here at the end of the church year, we have this Sunday called "Christ the King" Sunday. And this text with Jesus on the cross is all about Christ being our King.
There's a scene in the movie version of "The Sound of Music" when Sister Maria (Julie Andrews) led the Von Trapp kids in singing "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things." There were no iPods or Wii's to chase away their fright that stormy night. Instead, they dreamed of snowflakes on their eyelashes, and warm woolen mittens.
A few years ago Garth Brooks released a song thanking God for unanswered prayers. The gist of the song was that he was thankful that he didn't always get what he asked for because that meant God had something better in store for him.
For those who do not follow the liturgical Christian year, it may seem strange to think of this Sunday as the beginning of a new year. The notion that a new year is upon us may not seem right when leftover Thanksgiving turkey is still in the fridge. But for those attuned to such things, this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is relevant not only to those who celebrate Christmas ...
This is an opportune time of year to take stock of our blessings. Actually, every day should be a time of thanksgiving, but it seems we are too busy being too busy to appreciate just how blessed we are. Maybe -just maybe - we tend to look at our world upside down. The things that we think are important may not as critical as we imagine. Those things that seem trivial ...
Thanksgiving, for all its joy and stress, is a time of tradition. Every family I know can name five or six traditions they follow every year without fail. Some have little to do with the official day of giving thanks declared by Abraham Lincoln, but they have everything to do with forming memories that give us a sense of family and community.
In high-stakes poker, there usually comes a time when one player has an advantage over the others and declares, "All in," meaning he is betting everything he has. This forces other players to put up their fortunes, or fold.
War leaves a mark. Yesterday, on Veterans Day, we honored those who have that mark from physical war. But even more serious is the ultimate battle we are all in, a spiritual battle against sin. And on this Sunday in the Church Year (Last Judgment Sunday) we talk about its end.
Who do you love? Who are you willing to go out of your way for, to sacrifice for, the people from whom you want to hear the honest answer to "How are you?" Chances are the number of people on that list is pretty slim. Usually, we love (really love) the people who love us, or who are good to us, or who do something for us. God has a different ...
"Trick or Treat." Are you ready to hear it? Chances are, you'll hear it a few times this weekend. This is the one time a year that when someone asks a child, "What do you say?" the correct answer is not "Please" or "Thank you!"
In 1987, the movie "Wall Street" debuted, bringing American avarice to the front of our collective consciousness.
Why do you do what you do? Has it ever happened where you do something even though every rational thought and logical sense would tell you not to? Maybe you give the person a second chance. Maybe you do without so that someone else doesn't have to. Why do yo do those things that don't really seem to benefit you in any way?
Near the end of the 19th century, renowned physicist Henry Augustus Rowland was once called as an expert witness at a trial. During cross-examination a lawyer demanded, "What are your qualifications as an expert witness in this case?" Rowland answered, "I am the greatest living expert on the subject under discussion." Later, when a friend expressed surprise at the professor's answer, Rowland replied, "Well, what did you expect me to do? I was ...
Many people have observed an epidemic sweeping across the American landscape.