Last month, my congregation (Abiding Grace) celebrated our 10th anniversary. And there is plenty to celebrate. In 10 years, we've grown in people, in facilities, in opportunities to serve our community and spread the word around the world - in so many different ways. Things are rocking at Abiding Grace. So, looking at that, we must be doing something right, right?
We spend billions of dollars as a nation every year on physical health and fitness.
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. "Dear woman, why are you crying?" the angels asked her. "Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "And I don't know where they have put him." She turned to leave ...
I'll admit it. I am a big college basketball fan, which means I'm loving life right here in the middle of March Madness.
At that hour, Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day, I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Today is Good Friday. The name seems like a misnomer when you consider that it marks the day of an execution - three in fact.
Oh, my aching tongue! You may never say that unless you bite your tongue. And while biting your tongue is painful and most of us avoid doing it as often as possible, it may be a something we should practice on a much more regular schedule.
I look at the calendar and realize tomorrow is already Easter4Kids. Let me explain. That's an event Abiding Grace has been putting on for years now, a free event for all the 3 to 10 year olds in our community. It's a day to celebrate the real meaning of Easter. (You still have time to register your children at e4k.abidinggrace.com, but I digress). But here's the thing. It always takes place the day before Holy Week starts.
As the time approached when Jesus was to be taken up into heaven, he determined to go to Jerusalem.
One of the most loved of Jesus' parables is the parable of the lost son. Generally we refer to it as the story of the Prodigal Son. Trying to do the story justice in one column is nearly impossible, but we will try. This may end up being a short series of articles so check your paper each week (and, no, I don't get royalties for paper sales.)
Philippians 4:6-7 in The Message translation reads, "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
"The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot - that God is at the center of the jaunt" (Bono).
Recently Matthew Parris wrote in the "London Times," "Missionaries, not aid money are the solution to Africa's biggest problem - the crushing passivity of the people's mindset." He says he has "become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa." Wherever missionaries lived, he wrote, "something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to. They see themselves as individuals who stand in direct relationship to God - ...
Here are some of the interesting stories related to Christianity that were in the news last week.
"O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow." (Psalm 144:3-4, NIV). I fear that we mortals often think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We seem to persist with the mistaken notion that God somehow needs us; that He craves our attention. We live with the quite childish notion that God was lonely (and somehow incomplete) without us.
As I write this column, our nation is preparing to inaugurate the 44th President of the United States. The inauguration of Barak Obama is indeed an historic occasion. Many men of stature will be participating in the event offering prayers and blessings and, in the process, a little advice. While it is doubtful that our new president will ever see this column, I, too, want to remind him of some vital principles as he takes office. Consider this column an open letter to our new president.
C.S. Lewis wrote, ""The Christian way is different: harder and easier. Christ says, 'Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you - No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all ...
Back in the olden days (OK, the 70s), we would spend afternoons playing kickball, hide-and-go-seek and Red Rover in each other's backyards. Occasionally, someone would argue that something was unfair. Heated arguments would reach ear piercing levels until someone would cave in and declare, "OK, it's a do-over!"
Time Magazine has just published a collection of articles called the "The Top Ten of Everything in 2008." The lists would make good questions for a trivia pursuit game. What couple was listed first under "Top 10 Breakups" of 2008? (Madonna & Guy Ritchie) What was the first of the "Top 10 Buzzwords" of 2008? (Change) What was the number 1 in the "Top 10 Olympic Moments?" (Michael Phelps' photo finish)
This is the season of feasting - and it shows. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, most Americans gain between one and five pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. This may not sound too bad, but according to the study, the holiday weight gain stays with us, accumulating over the years, so the extra weight we carry really is last year's turkey, fruitcake, divinity and fudge. Duane Alexander, M.D., ...
Well, another Christmas has come and gone. I hope yours was a merry one.
Did your calendar come with preprinted holidays? Mine did. When I flipped it to December, I came across an unfamiliar event: Dec. 26, Boxing Day. A little digging and I discovered that it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing. It's all about giving.
Today is the 361st day of the year. There are only five days left of 2008. As we get ready to break out the new calendars there is bound to be some retrospection, but before we get too carried away thinking about the past, let's remember a few words from the Apostle Paul.
"The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" was released on DVD last Tuesday, Dec. 2. This is the second volume of C. S. Lewis Narnia fantasy series to be made into a movie by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It follows the 2005 release of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," and the next installment planned is the 2010 release of "The Voyage of the Dawn Trader." "Prince Caspian" has already proven to be ...