Like a Child

Like a Child

“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”—Jesus

We often talk about possessing the “faith of a child” (although Jesus never actually mentions this). We rarely talk about what Jesus actually does mention: possessing the humility and the lowness of status of a child.

Share This

Fifty-two Years Ago

Fifty-two Years Ago

Fifty-two years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

I wasn’t alive then. It was seven years before I was born. I grew up in the decades following one of the the most internally divided and violent eras in U.S. history since the Civil War.  However, studying history and remembering the feel of growing up after these events (the distrust of government, the angst and anger of Vietnam), it reminds me that the present times are perhaps more like the past than we would like. Continue reading

Share This

It Is Okay

It Is Okay

Beloved, it is okay to be afraid to love in the face of threat and violence. It is okay to want something else, anything other than a love that serves even those who are our enemies, and to pray, “Please take this cup from me.”

We are not up to the challenge to love so deeply.

I am not up to it.

So, we rely on the strength of Christ, who also prayed “take this cup” but then surrendered: “Your will be done, not mine.” Then he took up his cross in order to reveal a love that cannot be deterred or overcome by fear, violence, or even death.

This is the only kind of love that matters.

Share This

In Times of Hate, We Seek Wisdom In Order To Love Better

In Times of Hate, We Seek Wisdom In Order To Love Better

I told someone a few weeks ago that we could probably expect an increase in extremist attacks outside of the Middle East, and that, unfortunately, there would likely be attacks tied to refugees from Syria. Already, as I said it, there was the growing rumble of fear here in the U.S. regarding refugees, and my own concern was that if/when an attack happened that was connected with refugees, that it would feed such fear and even turn it into anger and hatred. Now we find that such an event has occurred in France. Continue reading

Share This

“Blood Moon” Passages in the Bible

“Blood Moon” Passages in the Bible

In light of tonight’s celestial event, I thought it would be good list the passages in scripture that refer to the “moon turning to blood.”  There are three such passages, with one being a duplicate:  Peter’s quote of Joel on the Day of Pentecost (the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, or “Weeks”).  The other is from the book of Revelation.  While there are other biblical passages that describe signs and events in the heavens (the most well known being the star signifying Jesus’ birth), these are the only three that mention what has popularly been called “blood moons”.

Note that the “moon to blood” also includes other celestial events, such as the sun being darkened (all three) and stars falling to the earth (Revelation only).  Additionally, Peter seems to be saying that this prophecy from Joel was being fulfilled at Pentecost.  I quote each of them at length for context: Continue reading

Share This

The White House’s Secret Deal with Iran

The White House’s Secret Deal with Iran

NOTE:  This post was written as a form of satire, as test to 1) see how people (particularly conservatives) would respond when they became aware at the end of the article that the following events were part of the 1980’s Iran-Contra affair under President Reagan rather than concerning President Obama and the current U.S.-Iran discussions and 2)  see if people in the social media world of Facebook or Twitter would actually read the article before making comments on those platforms.  It was clear that many did not read the article or follow its source links, but only read the headline, and responded accordingly.  Several reposted and shared the link thinking it was about the current administration.

Since so many did miss the Iran-Contra connection, I have decided to be clear about the nature of this post.  I would not want it to become the source of mis-information or vitriol. 

The following information provides some perspective for responding to the recent Iran deal. It also has bearing on our reactions and responses the potential Benghazi cover-up:

An Illegal Conspiracy to Mislead the American People

Through a series of incidents involving low level operatives, it is known that key and high-ranking members of the National Security Council, the CIA, and the White House approved illegal sales of weapons to Iran via a third-party country and attempted to keep it a secret from the American people. This was done:

Continue reading

Share This

Ryan Abernathy and Todd Littleton on Food Stamps, Welfare, Poverty, and the Church

Ryan Abernathy and Todd Littleton on Food Stamps, Welfare, Poverty, and the Church

My friend Todd Littleton posted a great interview (as well as some of his own thoughts) with Ryan Abernathy, Senior Director of Programs and Nutrition at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, concerning government services such as food stamps (SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), other services, and the church’s role with those in poverty.  Todd’s post also links to another two part  interview with Ryan entitled “Facts About American Poverty” (part 1 and part 2) over at Marty Duren’s Kingdom in the Midst blog.

I highly encourage you to read all three of those posts and listen to the podcast.  Here are some snippets of the latter:

Continue reading

Share This