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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…

freedoms

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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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…