Falling Below the Poverty Line and Over the Fiscal Cliff

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Listen to this piece..Did you know that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty? The 2011 U.S. Census figure for those living in poverty was 46 million. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, the U.S. ranked third-highest in poverty among developed nations in 2011; Turkey and Mexico were the only developed nations whose rates were higher. You may be wondering what the poverty line is: according to the Office of … [Read more...]

God With Us

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Listen to this piece.Today and tomorrow, countless people around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus. Some people will celebrate his birth in the midst of great suffering and loneliness. Perhaps they will take comfort from the fact that the Lord himself was “a man of sorrows,” “familiar with suffering” (Isaiah 53:3).One of my favorite Christmas carols is “What Child Is This?” by William Chatterton Dix. The song comes from a poem “The Manger Throne” that emerged out of a time of gr … [Read more...]

Christmas Magic

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Listen to this piece.There’s something very magical about Christmas for many people. The reasons vary, from sensing something special in the air to falling snow against the backdrop of a lit night sky to Christmas lights and nostalgic music to the anticipation over giving and receiving presents. The list goes on.The children’s Christmas concert I attended the other night was filled with Christmas magic. The children varied in size and age and musical ability, as they played their ins … [Read more...]

Consumerism, the Third Martini and the Terrorists

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Listen to this piece. During the Depression years, people conserved. More recently, when facing tragedy and crisis, Americans have been called upon to consume. You may recall the Bush Administration’s talk of supporting the war effort in Afghanistan by going shopping and the terrorists hating our freedoms. Did such talk disguise our bondage to consumerism? If so, America’s greatness as a nation has been greatly diminished.  To some, its Messianic vision for America’s role in the world was/has be … [Read more...]

Silent Night: A Palestinian Christmas

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Listen to this piece.Jesus’ birth in Palestine a few thousand years ago was not so silent. As much as I love the Christmas carol, “Silent Night,” I have a hard time imagining Mary didn't cry in giving birth to Jesus and that newborn baby Jesus didn't cry that night. The crying over his birth didn't end with them. After the visit of the Magi, Herod got ready to make mothers in the whole region weep. Scripture tells us that Herod was going to make sure that no king would rise up to take his pla … [Read more...]

Gold, Frankincense and an M16

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Listen to this piece.Like so many other Americans, I can’t wait for Christmas. I can’t wait to see children open gifts and to worship Jesus to whom the magi of old brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Still, like for so many Americans this Christmas, my thoughts and prayers will wander on Christmas day to Newtown, Connecticut, where some children who would be opening presents won’t be.As I drove home last night, my thoughts wandered until I turned on NPR. I listened intently to … [Read more...]

The World’s End: Nostradamus, NASA and the Chicago Cubs

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Listen to this piece.I was talking with someone the other day about Nostradamus’ prediction that the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. I have also been informed that the Mayan calendar ends on December 21st. Some people have determined that these two items alone provide sufficient grounds for them to get their houses in order for the end. It doesn’t matter that NASA has gone on record saying that life will go on just fine on and after December 21st. No collisions in the sky or cha … [Read more...]


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