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one race

In a June 18, 2020 letter to students, staff, alumni and their families, Hillsdale College wrote:

“There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling—deeply justified public feeling—and winning approval by espousing the right opinion. The fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook. It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction.”
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truth will set you free

“If Liberty University reopens, people will die,” predicted emergency room doctor Max Cooper of Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

So began the condemnation when Liberty U. re-opened their campus at the beginning of our national lock-down. Blaming religious hubris, The Financial Times of London reported “twelve students promptly came down with coronavirus.” This news was repeated by dozens of media outlets. Nobel Laureate (economics) Paul Krugman informed NYTimes readers that Liberty, “seems to have created (their) own personal viral hot spot.” A Washington Post headline story reported how “an authoritarian power structure brought coronavirus to Liberty University.”

Liberty’s academic year has ended. How many students died? Zero.
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dying gives us the chance to confront truth

Adapted from an article by Prof. C. Kavin Rowe, Duke University Divinity School.

The Covid-19 pandemic has swept away the illusions that can ignore death. The virus will kill only a small minority of the world. Yet its prevalence has reminded people everywhere that if Covid-19 doesn’t kill them, something else will.

This realization recalls a truth central to the Christian tradition: No one will get out of life alive. I know this firsthand because my dying wife tells the truth. When she was referred to hospice after a long and painful decline, she simply noted, “I don’t want to die. I want to finish raising our son.”
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resurrection day

Jerusalem always buzzed during Passover, the high-holy day of Jewish culture. But one year was extremely intense—the year crowds hailed Jesus from Nazareth. Popular opinion believed Him to be a prophet, particularly those living outside Jerusalem and its suburbs. Many dared to dream He was more than a prophet. Others feared that possibility.

Might Jesus be Israel’s rightful king—the divinely anointed heir of great king David?
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what did you do in the pandemic?

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? is the title of 1966 movie, playing off the question adolescents were then asking WW2 veterans. Today’s events and risks pale in comparison. Still, the day may come when youngsters demand to know, 'What did you do in the pandemic?'

God bless and protect our health care workers, truck drivers, grocery store workers, manufacturers, delivery people, and so many others. If our garbage collectors ceased going to work we’d soon be dealing with worse than coronavirus.

What are you doing in the pandemic?
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strange new normal

Welcome to our strange new normal. Chaos has a way of reordering reality; that’s the claim of Nomadic Learning—builder of digital academies around the world. They claim that reordering how we operate opens doors to new opportunities and mind-sets.

This spring Americans are being pried out of a cultural habit more than a century old. In our new normal, the office is no longer the primary location where white-collar work gets done. Perhaps a million newly remote employees will discover that productivity, innovation and creativity are stronger when the office is abandoned.
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deadly virus

December 30, 2019 Dr Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, alerted colleagues via WeChat to the sudden outbreak of a unique virus, soon to be identified as COVID-19 … coronavirus.

On that very same day following a secret trial, a Chinese court announced the government’s previously determined punishment for Pastor Wang Yi. (China does not have an independent judiciary, courts are extensions of the Communist Party.) Pastor Yi was sent to prison for nine years; his crime "inciting to subvert state power" (preaching the Gospel) and "illegal business operations” (leading a house church).

These two events are, in all likelihood, coincidental. But, what if they aren’t?
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in memorium

We were gathered to honor and remember the life of Steven, who was 61 years of age when he died December 10, 2019. Steven was the distant one in the family.

I met him through his sister. For me it was love at first sight. For her, it took about a year. Another year later we were dating, most weekends I drove a beat-up VW 100 miles from college to see her. I drove that car into the ground, literally. The engine blew up on the highway a few miles from her home. Her father offered to help me tear down the engine to investigate if it could be fixed, but I'd have to get my broken VW into his garage. How to transport a broken down car six miles when you have no money?
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letter from jail

I prefer getting my history from original documents. Many people speak about the Constitution without bothering to read the Constitution. People often speak about Jesus without having read the Gospels. On Martin Luther King Day I like to read, and occasionally listen to, his words. (Hope Community keeps on our Podcasts / Classics page Dr King’s sermon, “Why Jesus Called a Man, a Fool.”)

In 1963 while jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, Rev. King wrote longhand his response to a letter of concern and caution he received from eight white religious leaders. Here are some excerpts:
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holy night on pbs

Before Christmas slips away a video recommendation. In 2015 PBS produced The First Silent Night, a documentary of the history of the “world’s most popular carol.” If like me, you suspect PBS is anti-Christian, prepare to be shocked.

The documentary historically and reverentially recounts how two impoverished young men, Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber, collaborated in a small village chapel. In one day they united Gruber’s music to a poem Mohr had been working on for two years, creating the classic carol describing the meaning of Jesus’ birth.
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holy days

The Holidays have become a celebration of materialism.

Think on it. The season begins with a feast, continues through a whirlwind of parties and events, then culminates with a gift extravaganza. The season concludes with a boozy farewell to the year accompanied by vague hopes for a better next year.

This is what the Holidays are. This is not what they were meant to be.
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gratitude nurtures thriving

Psychotherapist Amy Morin says mentally strong people choose to exchange self-pity for gratitude. She identifies seven reasons to be thankful.

1) Gratitude increases relationships. A 2014 study in
Emotion found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to pursue an ongoing relationship with you.

2) Gratitude improves physical health. A 2012 study published in
Personality & Individual Differences found that grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, and report feeling healthier than do others. Not surprisingly, they're also more likely to take care of their health. Read More…