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Ask, Seek, Knock

Many of us share a rather unbiblical concept of prayer. We sincerely believe prayer is getting God to do what we need or want done. Actually, to pray is to invite God into one’s situation. The New Testament suggests Jesus prayed to ascertain what God the Father wanted Him to say and do. Jesus taught his disciples to pray persistently, even with impudence, yet at its heart prayer moves us into what God is doing. God’s agenda accessed by our prayers will take us places we can’t imagine. Read More…

4 versions, 1 story

It’s good to know so many are participating in Hope Community’s devotional readings and discussions. While these readings are from the Gospel of Matthew, there are three more New Testament accounts of the life of Christ. Four versions of one story can seem confusing.
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given-up anything for lent?

Cecilia Escobedo, a mother of five, is giving-up refined sugar for Lent. The Wall Street Journal reports her goal is to lose 10% of her body weight. Ms Escobedo sees no reason to feel guilty about wanting to shed pounds in a season focused on self-denial. The body is as important as the soul, she believes. “I have an obligation to take care of myself.” Read More…

say something, do something

In the early 1600’s Galileo reached a point where he quit arguing for his scientific explanation of heliocentrism. Instead, he simply invited opponents to look through his telescope. Sadly, so certain were his opponents of what they thought they knew, most refused even to take a peek.

Today, many of us are so sure of what we think we know that we won’t even take a peak at another perspective.
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save yourself?

When in 1999 Dr Anne Spoerry died, she was known throughout east Africa as “Mama Daktari.” From 1950 until her death “Mother Doctor” provided health care for perhaps 1million of Kenya’s poorest inhabitants, piloting her own plane to remote villages, providing treatment, surgeries and vaccinations. Dr Spoerry was the first female member of the Flying Doctors service, a non-governmental organization now known as Amref Health Africa. Read More…

military chaplains

Early in the Korean War, US Army Chaplain Emil Kapaun wrote to his superior, “Tomorrow we go into combat.” Two months later Chaplain Kapaun entered Pyongyang with the 8th Cavalry Regiment. All Saints Day (day after Halloween) he conducted mass, dug foxholes, and in 20degree weather bivouacked with his battalion in the hills above the northern Korean town of Unsan. Read More…

gentlemen needed

Last week columnist Peggy Noonan suggested we need to resurrect a character from our past. She wrote that our culture, and especially women, need The Gentleman back. “All the stories we’ve read about sexual predators: the piggishness, grabbiness, manipulation and power games—have a common thread. The men involved were not gentlemen. They acted as if they’d never heard of the concept.” Read More…

muhammad bin salman

The people of Saudi Arabia have come to identify the crown prince of their country as MbS. Muhammad bin Salman, only 32 years old, is supposedly very popular among Saudis. He wants to moderate the Wahhabi version of Islam that dominates his country. The Wall Street Journal reported his announcement, “We are going back to how we were: to the tolerant, moderate Islam that is open to the world—to all the religions and traditions of its people. We represent the moderate teachings and principles of Islam. We will eradicate the remnants of extremism very soon.” Read More…

I wish you bad luck

It was not without precedent that the 2017 Cardigan Mountain School ninth grade graduation had no announced commencement speaker. It was, after all, just a Middle School graduation. As the rainy day unfolded a parent, a father whose adopted son was one of the graduates, offered his own carefully prepared advice. The speaker was the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Roberts. Here is some of what he said. Read More…

for God so loved

And there were sheep-herders living in the fields just outside Bethlehem, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them. The glory of the Lord shone around them.

~ New Testament Gospel of Luke 2.8-9 (paraphrased)

12/24 is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The traditional theme is love. In our culture, love is widely misunderstood. Perhaps in every culture individuals want love to fulfill or complete them; somehow supply what’s missing in their lives. Such thinking isn’t entirely wrong. Love is fulfilling. It does complete us.

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joy for all

“Why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should visit me? The moment your voice reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises.

~ Elizabeth greeting Mary, New Testament Gospel of Luke 1.43-45 (paraphrased)

12/17 is the third Sunday of
Advent. Joy is the theme. One of the oxymorons of Christmas is the carol that begins, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come.” If the Lord has come, should there not be more joy in the world?

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if only we could see peace

“If you could only see this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.

~ Jesus’ announcement before His final entry into Jerusalem
New Testament Gospel of Luke
19.42 (paraphrased)

12/10 is the second Sunday of Advent. Peace is the traditional theme. Ancient prophets foretold that a Prince of Peace would come to Jerusalem, even describing his arrival:

“Rejoice with shouts, Jerusalem! Watch for your king. He will arrive righteous and victorious; yet lowly, riding a donkey—on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

~ Zechariah 9 (paraphrased)

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