Many churches today are struggling with attendance and finances. They offer classes on this or that. They have fund raisers for this or that. They have entertainment that may or may not satisfy everyone entering their doors. They may have a suave preacher that preaches sermons to make them feel good. Their youth groups go on all kinds of trips. They conduct dramatic presentations and choir performances that are borderline professional.
By Jennifer Mobbs As the funeral director slowly closed the lid of the casket, I stood quietly trying to hold back my tears. I am not a crier, not at funerals, weddings, or even births. But I found myself welling up inside, tipping my head back so the unfamiliar tears would not roll down my […]
How are you liking the “new normal”? Do you go without health insurance, as 16 percent of Americans do? (A number that seems on the small side.) Do you have less than $500 in savings, as is the case with nearly one in two Americans, according to a recent poll? Have you moved in with older family members or opened your doors to younger ones?
Martin Luther King, Jr., reverend, civil rights icon, and practitioner of non-violent protest, was gunned down at Memphis’ Lorraine Hotel in 1968. The then 38-year-old had made an indelible mark on the ethos, conscience, and better graces of America.
I was nine years old the night that I told my mother, for the second time, what my stepfather had been doing to me when she wasn't home. The next day, I sat in an office with a tape recorder and a police officer, describing everything I could remember of the past five years and how it had started and when the last time he'd touched me had been.
If you aren't going to be with your family on holidays, consider opening your doors to others in your situation. Put out the call to your neighbors, or church group that you will be hosting a dinner or dessert party on the holiday to anyone who finds themselves without someone to celebrate with.
When Meriam asserted that she was in fact Christian she was then accused of apostasy. Following the conviction Meriam was then forced to give birth to her daughter Maya in prison.
Meriam and children1Although she was freed, she was initially prevented from leaving the country. Since June 26 she has been staying at the American embassy in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, according to Corriere della Sera. Meriam's case attracted international attention and the governments of the UK, the US and the United Nations all called for her to be freed.
Right now we sit awkwardly at the same banquet, feuding siblings with a feast before us; the Table of communion, to eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of the One who died for us.
The temptation then becomes to “coast” through life, living comfortably, patting ourselves on the back and saying: “We deserve a break; this is what we have worked so hard for.” We continue to work and put aside more money each year, and wait till we go to the grave or the Lord takes us to glory. However, is that what will constitute a life well lived?
This Thanksgiving, be thankful for the provisions you have received. Measure the financial progress you have made this year and continue to be disciplined as you enter this holiday season. Start new traditions as you become a more faithful steward. Remember, the real joy of the season is experienced with family and friends through giving the gifts of friendship, encouragement, affirmation, and love.
We all know there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, green snakes under the green grass, and all that glitters is not gold. But for some reason, when it comes to new friends, rather than do our homework, we’re quick to trust them until their true motive is exposed and our heart bleeds from the wound of betrayal. Some people are not that fortunate; the blow they received was so fatal, and they ended up six feet under.
I love vacations. I know, I know – who doesn’t? But, I really do. I love all aspects of the vacation, from the idea to the planning to getting there to coming home.
Orville Rogers may be 95 years old, but remains a competitive world-record-setting runner, after taking up the sport at age 50, and even went skydiving at 90 and hang-gliding at 93. While his contemporaries nurse their health, Rogers continues living vibrantly. His secret is found in the Bible, which he reads every year—now in the midst of his 50th time.
Anybody who has read this column before knows I’m unapologetically charismatic in my theology. I love the Holy Spirit, and I believe the New Testament calls us to make room for manifestations of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul gave guidelines for the gift of prophecy; he saw dramatic healings; he experienced supernatural visions; and he told church leaders not to forbid speaking in tongues (see 1 Corinthians 14:39). Paul was the epitome of charismatic spirituality.
A blast transfigured April 15 from the last day Americans have to pay their taxes to a day when heroism and cold-grit courage are remembered. At 2:49 p.m. the whole world exploded—or so it seemed for the marathoners who were steps away from crossing a finish line they had trained hard to earn, to throw their sweaty and fatigued arms around their loved ones to rejoice in a personal victory.
Someone I loved once gave me two matching elephants from India for my birthday. They were studded with small colored mirrors and jewels. I loved the giver of the gift deeply—and often liked to look at the elephants as an old married couple that one day we might be.
The meltdown I had in the Chick-fil-A parking lot was hotter than the spicy chicken sandwich I’d driven there to order. The day was hot, 98 degrees, and I was a hot mess. With my forehead on the steering wheel, I gasped for air and cried in loud, serrated sobs to my friend. With all the windows down and the noon-time drive-through crowd stacking up, I poured out to her all that had sparked a full-blown panic attack.
I remember going to Sammy’s birthday party when I was 10 years old. It was that awkward intersection of dutiful and obligated parents, already-disheveled boys and girls dressed in their party duds, and the games of freeze tag that allowed prepubescents to run and contact other people and work out that pre-teen angst.
I have let people slander, falsely accuse, and violate me, their words like slung mud on my back.
If the final knock on the door of your life sounds today, are you truly ready to meet your Maker? Would you be able to say without a shadow of doubt that you maximized your God-given talents and are leaving behind a good legacy for your children’s children? Would you smile at the thought of the many lives you impacted? Or would you immediately fall on your knees in desperation and plead with the Lord to give you another chance to complete the divine assignments you swept under the mat of procrastination?