Open Book
Light Bulb

#metoo hits the church

This month, the entire leadership of Willow Creek Community Church resigned. It was sudden. It was unexpected. It was necessary.

40 years ago a twenty-something youth pastor and a bunch of creative Christ-followers launched the seeker-sensitive movement in a rented movie theater. Bill Hybels, their leader, would become a church-growth rock star.
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this is on us

North Platte, Nebraska is an isolated town of 24,000. Throughout World War 2 soldiers, sailors and aviators traveling towards combat rode troop trains through North Platte where the Union Pacific Railroad made stops to take on water.

The townspeople (1940’s population 12,000) made those stops special. Starting in December 1941, they welcomed every troop train—up to 23 a day. Volunteers greeted 3,000-5,000 soldiers a day with sandwiches and gifts, music and even dances. Every day of the war, townspeople were at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier.
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human identity & divine authority

Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, earned accolades for his marriage sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Megan Markel. We do indeed underestimate the power of love. We doubt its effectiveness. All people are precious in His sight. Read More…

We Hold These Truths

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

July 2, 1776 the thirteen British colonies in America voted unanimously (the New York delegation abstaining—awaiting instructions from their legislature) to “dissolve the connection” from the Kingdom of Great Britain—adopting a
Declaration of Independence. Read More…

Syrians at a Seder

Adapted from an article by Masada Siegel a freelance writer covering international affairs and travel:

“Germany is where I met Saqib. While working a trade show in Frankfurt with my dad in 2011, a man walked over from a nearby booth: ‘I am Saqib from Syria. It’s a country in the Middle East next to Lebanon.’
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Memorial Day

To honor Memorial Day this past Sunday we introduced our open prayer time with the video Mansions of the Lord. It’s lyrics mourn the loss and brokenness of war, while honoring soldiers with the hope of “divine embrace, eternal light in the mansions of the Lord.” I was surprised to learn this is a recent hymn, composed in 2002 for the movie We Were Soldiers. Read More…

making your kids suicide bombers

Dita & Puji Kuswanti and their four children went to church last Sunday in Surabaya, Indonesia. Actually, they went to three churches. But they didn’t go to worship. The Jakarta Post reports they went as suicide bombers.

At 6:30am teenage sons Yusuf and Alif, age 18 and 16, rode their motorcycle into the Santa Maria Catholic church, detonating their suicide bomb as early mass concluded. Five people in the church were killed.
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two queens

This is not about trans-sexuals. It’s about Queen Esther—more particularly her immediate, deposed predecessor Queen Vashti. The Old Testament book of Esther is rather strange. God is not mentioned. The author is familiar with Persia; Israel not so much. It records events among Jews who chose to remain in exile rather than return to Israel. Its hero, Esther, becomes Queen of Persia via sexual favors to the king. Read More…

greatest royal rumble

May Omar, a 27-year-old Saudi female, arrived at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Saudi Arabia wearing a double-extra large T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of professional wrestler Triple H. She wore it in place of her abaya—the traditional robe Saudi women wear over their clothes. “It’s flowy and black, so really, what’s the difference?” explained Ms Omar. Until recently her wardrobe choice would have earned unwanted attention from the religious police. But now, “It’s fun to wear the T-shirt of the wrestler you support.” Read More…

love your enemies?

The US Ambassador to the United Nations told the UN Security Council, “You don’t starve your own people in order to fund nuclear weapons.” But that’s precisely what North Korea has done. Read More…

resurrection confusion

According to some critics, the contradictory accounts of Jesus’ resurrection found in the four Gospels discredit the story. But if you understand that more than one small group of women trekked to Jesus’ tomb Sunday morning, most of the contradictions clear away. Read More…


On a NY City commuter train, Kevin Donovan and his Muslim friend found themselves sitting across from a family of South Asian appearance. While his friend talked with the father, Kevin introduced himself to the mother and her daughter, Aisha. As it was a school day, this was the only family on the train, so Mr Donovan asked where they were traveling so early in the morning.

“To see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” Aisha’s mother answered with a smile.
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