Blessed Are the Happy in Jesus, not Tortured, Cheated or Diseased Souls

©2007 Creative Commons

All of us want to be happy, but we look for happiness in different places and with mixed results. Some of us grieve over not obtaining happiness. Others of us think we have achieved it, but we are deceived. Others of us have the proper object of happiness, but we fail to realize it. It is important that we pursue the ultimate Good, who alone is the basis for true and lasting happiness. Our hearts will forever remain restless until they find their rest in the Good, that is, God, as St. Augustine … [Read more...]

Die to a Martyr’s Complex—We Cannot Out-Give God

©2011 Creative Commons

Lent is a forty day period in the church calendar, which begins with Ash Wednesday, and ends the day before Easter. It involves fasting, prayer and repentance, and emphasizes identification with Jesus. Jesus fasted and prayed for forty days and nights in the wilderness. Many observers of Lent also believe Jesus was in the tomb forty hours.Christians who observe Lent give up various comforts and habits, such as chocolate or coffee or cigarettes. Recently, Pope Francis called on the faithful … [Read more...]

Palm Sunday: Do We Approach Jesus with an Open Hand or a Closed Fist?

Palm Sunday Picture

Today is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. On this day, we celebrate Jesus in his humble glory riding a donkey and its colt into the city of Jerusalem, as the crowds and children cry out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, 15) The crowds threw palm branches on the path before Jesus to celebrate him as their approaching King (Matthew 21:8; John 12:13), who came to bring peace and justice. Many … [Read more...]

Displaced Christians Place Emphasis on Forgiveness and Love

©2013 ODI

What good is religion, anyway? Religion is extremely good, when it promotes radical love in the face of extreme hate. I was deeply moved by the video of Christian girls in Erbil, Iraq, who were interviewed after they and their families were displaced from their homes by ISIS. My friend Adam Estle at Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding made available this video link in his recent EMEU Weekly Communiqué, which you can find here.How would we respond if we were displaced from our homes … [Read more...]

Millennial-Minded Churches: Not So Fast—Know Why We’re Fasting at Lent

Fasting at Lent

Millennials are often viewed as that generation that came into adulthood around the turn of the twenty-first century (See this description of Millennials). They are also into previous millenniums, when it comes to an affirmation (albeit eclectic) of tradition (Refer to this article in U.S. News & World Report on Millennials and religious tradition) and embodied, tactile spirituality involving the various senses. In particular, I have in mind Evangelical Protestant Millennials. As a recent … [Read more...]

What Did God Give Up for Lent?

Chocolate and Copy--PLM

Many Christians celebrate Lent, a forty day season of prayer and fasting that ends the day before Easter. Christians who observe Lent give up creaturely comforts and habits of various kinds, such as chocolate, coffee, and cigarettes. This year, Pope Francis called on Christians to give up the global problem of indifference during Lent. The Pope claimed, “As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has ta … [Read more...]

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” not tax evasion

No doubt, the Apostle Peter had Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew in mind when he encourages and exhorts Christians to suffer for righteousness’ sake, not murder, thievery, evil, meddling—and no doubt deception like tax evasion: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insult … [Read more...]


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