My Visit with Fred “Mister” Rogers, Part Two (Audio) ~ Television as Holy Ground

By Wendy Murray Continuing my conversation with Fred Rogers on the day we met in his office in October 2000,  I probed him on his desire to go to seminary as part of his preparation for the work he was doing in television. What was behind his desire to study theology? In what way did he see seminary training as germane to the work he was already doing in television? [Listen to Part One of this interview here.] In the… Read more

A Picture of Civic Beauty: Be Kind to One Another

by Wendy Murray A man keeled over and hit the floor hard one morning when I sat in my town’s public library. I wear earplugs when I work there, but even with those, the muffled THUD that I heard somewhere about me caused me to lift my head. There he was, lying in a heap on the floor under the desk at the computer station, his gray hair falling wildly about him. Those of us who saw this from afar… Read more

My Visit with Fred “Mister” Rogers, Part One (Audio) ~ His Family & the Puppets

By Wendy Murray This posting marks the first of what I hope will be ongoing audio portions of actual interviews I’ve conducted with thought leaders and fascinating people over the decades of my career in journalism. In October 2000 I had the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh to spend a day with Fred “Mister” Rogers and his colleagues for a cover story that appeared in Christianty Today. The project had been a pay-off assignment for me in the aftermath of… Read more

What Was Muhammad’s Intention for Islam?

by Wendy Murray I heard a pundit say recently that “Jesus probably would have been okay with Muslims; he was around a lot of Muslims — it was the Middle East.” That was the moment I decided the time had come for a brief refresher on the beginnings of Islam and the paradigm forged by its founder, Muhammad. What was his intention for his new-found system of belief? How did he determine to advance it? Just as–in trying to understand… Read more

Reflection: Jesus Would Not Trust Them

By Wendy Murray In church the other day, as the pastor gave his sermon, a phrase jumped out about Jesus that turned my head. I say I  “turned my head” because, having been married to and divorced from a pastor whose sermons did not help as our marriage was disintegrating, I tend to diminish the place of the sermon in my overall worship experience. Sometimes it is hard to listen. Often it is difficult for me to be moved. I… Read more

Reflections of An Aging Mother

Many faded photos of women in horn-rimmed glasses and puffy hair are popping up on social networking sites: “My precious mother” or “My gone-but-not-forgotten dear mother.” As I have aged I continue to see that the connection to one’s mother is the singular most defining relationship that shapes another human’s life, for better or worse. My heart goes out to those women whose hearts will ache this Sunday when mothers are hailed, doted upon, and held up as saviors and… Read more

Moneychangers Part 5 ~ Q & A with Ben Zoba

This post concludes the five-part podcast series titled Moneychangers, in which we have explored with civic activist, Ben Zoba, the inherent flaws of the current money system, its spiritual implications, and ways to move toward a new paradigm. As mentioned in previous podcasts, Ben does not presume to be an expert on the intricacies of these matters, though he has researched them extensively. He speaks smartly and with the passion of a man under conviction,  believing that what is at stake… Read more

Moneychangers Part 4 ~ Beginning points toward a better way

A Conversation with Ben Zoba about Money, Part 4 In this installment — the fourth with Ben Zoba about the failures of the current money system — we discuss some models of how others have explored and successfully appropriated a new paradigm for financial exchange. He highlights, for example, the Wir credit exchange, in Switzerland, which has experienced great success; Ellen Brown’s work, which explores a public banking system (through the government) over against the current private banking system; Thomas Greco’s paradigm of… Read more

Moneychangers ~ Part 3: The psychological effect of money scarcity

In this third installment of our conversation with local farmer and community activist, Ben Zoba, he explores the hidden psychological impact of people trying to flourish in an environment of monetary scarcity. Building upon the points discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, Ben makes the case that the manufactured scarcity of money creates a social environment that indirectly sets citizens against one another as each contends for limited funds to build their lives and aspire toward… Read more

Moneychangers Part 2 ~ What is the Federal Reserve and how is it hurting families?

A conversation with Ben Zoba, Part 2 of 5 In this second of five installments of my conversation with farmer and community activist, Ben Zoba, he discusses the irregularities associated with the formation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 — which is run by a contingent of private bankers who wield sole control over the ebb and flow of economies worldwide. Ben sees this control, and its debilitating effects on citizens, as a singular attack on fundamental institutions, most… Read more

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