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slow mornings

According to CNN, Forbes, the New Yorker and other observers, the next new-big-thing comes to us from Norway: Slow Mornings. It’s a counter movement to our high-tech, hectic, 24/7 over-scheduled lives. Practitioners dedicate a chunk of time every morning for … nothing.

Rising early they begin their day with quiet solitude, free from interruptions and deadlines. Practitioners claim
Slow Mornings provide a foundation for productivity—a calm and focus that sticks with them throughout the day. The Institute of Slowness claims the fastest way to a good life is to slow down. “Don’t live as if you’re afraid to be late to your own funeral,” says founder Geir Berthelsen. Read More…

religious bigotry in the u.s. senate

Adapted from a 1/4/2019 Opinion published in The Wall Street Journal by Eugene F. Rivers III, a Pentecostal minister, director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies.

People assume prejudice against Catholic politicians ended with the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy. Yet anti-Catholic bigotry lives. When US Senators sent written questions to Brian Buescher, a lawyer nominated for the Federal Court, two Senators demanded answers about his membership in the
Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization. Read More…

re-inventing christmas

Perhaps Hollywood’s first “Christmas movie” was Meet Me in St. Louis released November 1944, a story developed from eight semi-autobiographical vignettes by Sally Venson, published 1941-1942 by The New Yorker magazine. It’s a Wonderful Life could be our most popular Christmas movie.

While the Christmas season has become a cash-cow for Hollywood, the movies have not been good to Christmas.
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The Bible recounts King David’s own son led a rebellion against him. Prince Absalom tried to steal the throne of Israel. He is commonly characterized as a rebel. Perhaps from Absalom’s perspective his father the king failed to act with justice and had become weak.

In time the rebellion was put down by the professional soldiers who rallied to the king. But against David’s announced wish his son, the leader of the rebellion, was killed.
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persecuted christians

Sunday 11/4 was the international day of prayer for the persecuted church. Sunday at Hope Community was a prayer service. No sermon. Lots of prayers—spoken and whispered. Concluding with Communion.

Video clips focused our prayers on a few of the many
countries in which Christians face persecution. Pakistan—Christians are second-class citizens relegated to demeaning work. Nigeria—Boko Haram attacks Christians (remember #BringBackOurGirls). China—President Xi deems Christianity to be un-patriotic. North Korea—possessing a Bible gets you 15years in a labor camp. Read More…

murder at the tree of life

The attack Saturday upon worshipers at Tree of Life Synagogue was another broadside from evil. Mass shootings and the murder accompanying them have become horribly common. Many immunize ourselves against the deadly toll. In small yet dangerous ways we begin to resemble people living in a war zone—seeing the suffering but blind to the evil.

Jesus challenges us to not be blind. Read More…

who told you that you were naked?

Who told you that you were naked? That’s the title of a book that seeks to explain how the Bible’s teaching can help men become responsible husbands and fathers. The title is lifted from dialogue in the Bible book of Genesis. The book was written and self-published in 2013 by Kelvin Cochran, who was then the fire chief of the city of Atlanta. Read More…

culture vs. the search for truth

What if your teenage daughter suddenly declared herself transgender. Should you acquiesce with the activists’ claim that she’s mature enough for medical treatments that will permanently affect her health, fertility and future? Or, could she possibly be influenced by societal pressure?

Dr Lisa Littman (MD, Brown University) doesn’t have the answer. Transgender activists didn’t even want her to ask the question.
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what we believe, why it matters

What does it mean to be a Christian? Believers desperately need a clear, communal, global identity.

The heresy of 21stCentury Christianity is our exaggerated and distorted commitment to individual liberty. Many believers are so out-of-balance they’re indifferent towards the body of Christ. Believers who privately define Christianity and personally choose how to practice it, make the church a social club.
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timeless or temporary?

Recently, during Sunday Q&A, a couple of questioners asked how to tell the difference between what in the Bible was cultural and so temporary, and what is divine revelation and so timeless. It’s a question Christ-followers ought always be prepared to answer.

The Bible recounts practices that were cultural and so temporary: animal sacrifice, head-coverings, polygamy, religious warfare, etc. The Bible also claims to record divine revelations: creation, divine mercy via Jesus, the fatherhood of God, kingdom of heaven, etc.
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church leadership cover-up

Last week a Pennsylvania grand jury published a 900-page report detailing sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by 300 Roman Catholic priests over a 70 year time-period. The grand jury details the victims’ horrific stories. It also documents the carefully managed coverup by the highest levels of the US Catholic Church.

Forensic accounts of priests raping the sons and daughters of Christ remind me of Judas. Not even
Dante’s Inferno imagined crimes as sacrilegiously perverse. In the majority of cases the victims were adolescent males, but boys and girls as young as 7yrs-of-age were sexually abused by men trusted as representatives of Christ.

~ Adapted from an article by Prof. Pecknold, Catholic University of America ~ Read More…

#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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