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.
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 ...