Hear me now, dear, weak forgiver." -Lucifer
His face gave him away. When people smile a lot, they develop smile wrinkles...he had frown wrinkles. What little hair he had left was straggly and dirty. His outfit was probably the only one he owned; after all, it was the same one he had on the day before. He walked up to the register and greeted me with silence.
Today we learnt that a dear friend of ours has been diagnosed with cancer in her ovaries. The consultants original thoughts were that the large tumor detected from the CT scan was probably a benign ovarian cyst similar to one our friend underwent surgery for 18 only months previously.
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.
In this individualistic society we live, there is a tendency to proclaim ourselves to be the masters of our domain. We pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and we make it happen. We create our own destiny! Right? "If it wasn't for me... it would have all fallen apart!"
It is sad to see how our few Christian television channels have been invaded by Microwave Christianity hawked by self appointed apostles and prosperity moguls who blatantly push their deceptive speeches about a Jesus who does not come from the Bible.
I have let people slander, falsely accuse, and violate me, their words like slung mud on my back.
Many times I find myself wondering what the word “love” means. Does it really hold no record of wrongs even if you’re constantly afflicted by mental anguish and scorned with disrespect? Is it really unconditional selflessness that encourages you to forgive your offender 70 times seven even if they grieve your spirit beyond comprehension? Is there really love at first sight, or is love an emotion that develops with time and friendship? Last, is it true that love is blind and marriage is the eye opener?
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.
It was a hot Saturday afternoon with the sun doing a harsh number on my skin and my mind trying to seek refuge in something cold or sweet. It was at this junction of decision that the smell of pizza gently filtered into my nose. “Hmmn, that pizza smells so good; can we stop and have a slice I asked?” My fourteen year old son looked at me in disbelief. “Control mommy, control” he whispered in my ears. Although he was right on the money with the emphasis he placed on the word “control”, I bullied him into immediate silence by letting him know that “this hungry mom is an angry mom that can change her mind about taking him shopping.”
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.
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?
We handed out hundreds maybe thousands of cups of hot coffee and donuts. And talked to those willing to talk with us, listened, observed and learned. But it was the very first morning that the bill-board question of 'can one person make a difference' recalled.
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.
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.
Our culture is afraid to face death because it has never beheld the only One who defeated death. Our lives are shaped by our focus. Which simply means, what we behold we become. Our culture has yet to behold the One who conquered death. That’s why we’re so afraid of it and have perversely become obsessed with it.
We live in a hyper-technological society, bombarded constantly with opportunities to “connect” with “friends” with tweets and status updates and comments and likes and YouTube videos. There’s always more to skim, post, and respond to. God help you if you have a smartphone alerting you in real time to the email you just received.
When I landed in the United States on the morning of November 19, 2011, there is one thought that stuck in my mind: God is constant. I had arrived in a foreign country at 5 a.m. and found myself surrounded by so much unfamiliarity. I had nothing but a bag full of winter clothes, a piece of paper with an address, and some kind of nervous excitement.
Time is fleeting and tomorrow is not guaranteed so what we do today for a loved one may be the only thing that matters. I used to put off what could be done today until the unexpected happened and shattered my system of taking things for granted. The realization of my expensive mistake has prompted my decision to write this article to divert people from stumbling on the same lesson I learnt in a painful way.
I want to thank God for everything he has done and is doing in my life. He has been so good to me and my family. But for God, I do not know where I would be. I came to America from South Korea in 1989. Life was good! I came from a family that did not lack and I married a husband that provided from me. I was under the impression that it will remain that way till my maker calls for me. Although I was born into a Christian home, I did not practice my faith like I ought to because everything was just too good to even stop and pray.
When a church recognizes its need to make structural changes, organizationally speaking, they should seek wise and experienced counsel. Kirbyjon Caldwell (President George W. Bush's pastor) said, "Organizational structure is like a pair of shoes. You fit shoe to the feet; you don't make the feet fit the shoes." It's necessary to recognize that church's have down times and up times. All of life runs with times and seasons, ebbs and flows, work and rest, expansion and consolidation, death and birth. This is normal; it is also biblical, and our ecclesiology (teaching and understanding of the church) should acknowledge it. We need an ecclesiology of the church that is streamlined, simple, and less exhausting and time consuming. When we keep adding program to program, never practicing strategic abandonment, we run ourselves ragged and finally despise the church for burning us out. Simply put, we need to go back to the drawing board and conceive of new approaches to structuring church life.
My name is Sandra Vincent; I am originally from York , Pa. but now reside in Richardson , TX . ( 1603 Woodoak Dr. Richardson TX 75082 ) I am 66 years of age; my only income is Social Security. I have no savings of any kind and no other retirement income. I know this is a long shot. I realize the likelihood of receiving any help might not be there but I thought I would try.
One hundred and thirty one Christians everyone should know because of how they impacted the lives of others.
My name is Carolyn Acosta. It is my privilege to come weekly from my hometown to serve and love the people at the Dallas International Street Church. How grateful I am for this opportunity, and for this ministry! I would like to share my story. I was raised in a liberal denominational church. The scriptures were certainly not presented as the inspired word of God, but rather as myths and legends. The miraculous stories of the bible were downplayed, undermined and explained away. The scriptures were interpreted only symbolically, including concepts of heaven and hell. Everyone after death would go to some sort of heaven no matter what they believed, or how they had lived.
I don't have many fond memories of my childhood. My mother was and is a practicing alcoholic, while my stepfather was a practitioner of 5 out of the 6 known forms of child abuse. You see, growing up, I thought my stepfather was my real father. It wasn't until I was 16 years old that I found out differently. That's when everything started to make sense.
I didn't think my father cared about me. I left Hong Kong at age 5, when my mother divorced my father in 1968. My father never contacted me. I lived in America. He lived a world away. Then in 1996, at age 33, I returned with my mom to Hong Kong and met my father. I spoke only English. He spoke only Cantonese. My mother needed to serve as interpreter.
Since 1982, when the virus and disease were finally given a name, there have been several conspiracy theories that have surfaced and influenced the thinking and behavioral patterns of many communities, particularly communities of color. Theories based on misinformation, premature hypotheses, limited research and cultural biases saturated American societies throughout the 80’s. The 90’s brought better education and treatment concerning HIV/AIDS, but the damage had already been done and the weed seeds of lies had already been planted and started to take root in the minds of many.