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I reached my goals, but somewhere along the way I became discontented with what I had achieved. Now I wanted more. I want more money, more house, more property.
We will thrive. We will surround each other with hope, curiosity and solidarity that causes all to thrive. With hope, we build a better community. In this future, people of faith and nonfaith practices move beyond belief to build relationships.
As we were receiving the offering at worship, a man’s daughter asked if he had any cash. He only had a $20 bill, so he put it in the offering plate. Later, he asked me this: Would God give him credit for the $20, or would his daughter get credit for $10, and him for $10?
Today’s increasingly lax abortion laws send a chill into the hearts of those who see in utero children as God’s own – actual, real people made in God’s image, lives to be cherished and protected, not snuffed out.
My wife and I occasionally reminisce about one of our favorite stories (one of those “I’m such a good husband” tales) so I decided to share it with our readers. It’s basically a statistical analysis of how I rated as a supportive help-mate for my wife. Years ago, something happened (or didn’t happen) prompting Ellen to voice the opinion that I wasn’t pulling my own weight around the house. Knowing deep within how completely incorrect she was, I was deeply hurt and fired up to prove her wrong. My fourth-grade teacher said I had a future in math, so I decided to make this a numbers thing.
I nearly always observe God showing up on the margins of our lives as well. That makes me wonder if our spiritual centers just may not always be where we think they are.
It’s not a simple thing to become an “emergency warming center” in the space of a month (more or less!).
Good manners were important in my childhood home. Chew with your mouth closed. Say “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am.” Always say please and thank you, and never, ever interrupt.
“One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.” Wow, really? I think that Frederick Buechner was right when he wrote this irreverent insight in “Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC.”
In 1981, Billy Graham warned evangelical Christians about a “wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right,” warning that the “hard right [had] no interest in religion except to manipulate it.”
The holidays have a way of being both joyous and wistful. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. We usually celebrated it at my grandma’s house. She, my mom and my three aunts would prepare food in the kitchen, my uncles would sit in the living room watching football and I would go off and play with my cousins.
I tend to grow more and more impatient with the superficial ways we toss the word “hospitality” into our conversations. It is a very ancient, honorable word. But we domesticate it, reduce it to pleasant manners and forced smiling at others. Hospitality is transformative when it is authentic! Examples of biblical hospitality are many (Genesis 18:1-15; I Kings 17: 9-24; Luke 24: 13-25 to cite three). The transformative power of hospitality really shows itself, whether biblically or in today’s experience, when it finds ways to turn hostility into the friendship and freedom of hope.
I don’t have the post-election blues. It isn’t because all my candidates of choice won. Because they didn’t. And it’s not because the measures I voted for passed. Because not all of them did.
The Bible relentlessly reminds us that, while mankind makes his choices, and wages his battles, and shouts his opinions, a sovereign God rules over it all. And incredibly, mysteriously, but with certainty, God carries out His purposes.
I’m often asked why I became a religion reporter.
Self-examination requires we look deep and wide for our “better angels.” Resolve requires we listen courageously to those better angels.
Earlier this month I spoke on a panel addressing racism and prejudices in our community. I had prepared a short talk on how I went from a child who didn’t see color to a teenager who saw it too clearly. Kids don’t see people as white, or black, or brown. That comes later, when we hear our peers, our role models and the media make issue of the categories.
We don’t always know why another person is silent. Even when we do, our own silence is often the best gift we can offer another person.
There are some things better left unsaid in marriage, or at least said differently than those first words out of our mouths. If you don’t believe me, search, ‘things never to say to your spouse.’ Using one search engine, I got over 79 million results and after reading each one (huge exaggeration for effect), I’ve selected a few of my favorites for this piece. You’re Overreacting This works as well as mixing flour with a very large fan. Since there’s probably not an agreed-upon standard that identifies their correct reaction level, you’ve started off by saying ‘you’re wrong’ and that rarely goes well. Instead, how about trying to find out what’s behind their reaction by listening with understanding. That tells them, “I Care”. We Can’t Afford It Slap in the face. If the item in question appeals to you and there’s a working budget, you can avoid this type of statement by saying, “I’d like that. Have you figured out what area of the budget it will come from?” Now the issue has become, ‘how do we pay for something we’d both like’ instead of ‘you haven’t even thought far enough ahead to see it costs too much.’ My Mom/Dad Never… Thanks honey, that makes me feel like I’m in a competition I can’t win. A biblical principal, in the book of Genesis, has a married couple leaving their father and mother and forming a separate union, perhaps to avoid just this type of situation. The separation acknowledges and supports that this new union is unique and the parties must work together within that framework for the marriage to thrive. Does that mean you ignore everything good from your parent’s marriage? Nope! But you could mention the principle you saw at home without identifying mom or dad as the source. You Never… Your spouse likely won’t take to heart what you’re commenting on, especially if he’s a guy (this piece is written by one of them so he probably knows what he’s talking about…sometimes). Instead, they may log into their memory banks for the last time they did exactly what you said they never do and then they’ll have proof that you don’t ever get things right.
Do you need new rules of engagement?