We tend to assume that big problems require equally big solutions. You don't send a child to do a man's job. That would be foolish.If anybody should realize this, God should. It’s not like he needs a remedial course in being a divinity. He’s had all eternity to figure this stuff out. Nothing is his first rodeo.
We’re messed up people with messed up bodies. All of us. Even Miss America gets hemorrhoids.The Fall mocks us in our own skin. We’re all walking sermons. Our bodies preach what life is like in a world groaning under the weight of evil. And it’s a life that eventually reduces our flesh to worm food.
You’re ugly. You’re fat. You’re stupid. You’re dirty. You’re a disgrace. You’re a failure. Inside our heads the accusations pour forth. It’s like a courtroom packed with lawyers barking against us.
Our deepest fear, writes Marianne Williamson, is not that we are inadequate. Or that something will happen to our children. Or that we’ll be raped or murdered or robbed.
Being a father or mother is a lot like being a priest. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish, Christian, or one of the “religious nones.” Whatever faith—or the lack thereof—parents affirm, they spend about 18 years conducting a profoundly influential worship service in the lives of their children.
The devil’s copy of the Bible is not gathering dust on a nightstand. It’s the most dog-eared, underlined, highlighted book in his library. Satan is steeped in the Scriptures.
Caving to temptation makes you a happier person than resisting it. Break a few rules. Throw caution to the wind. Quit being Mr. Goody-two-shoes.
In a couple of days, many pastors and priests will stand at the altar holding up a grey thumb, like hitchhikers waiting to ride shotgun with Jesus. It’s Ash Wednesday, A sea of smudged foreheads. Kids smearing black all over themselves, mom and dad, and the back of the pew. All in all, it’s the dirtiest day in the church year.
Here’s what will happen. Maybe you’ve already been through it. Or maybe you’re living through it right now. I don’t know what will trigger it—I’m no prophet—but I do know, sooner or later, something will.
Everyone who goes to heaven is there because God chose them to be.
Everyone who goes to hell is there because they chose to be.
This is the mystery of the way God works. And the way we are.
It's beautiful and terrible, comforting and shocking, all at the same time.
She’s cooking breakfast when he stumbles through the back door of their humble Arkansas home. Eyes bloodshot. Shirt unevenly buttoned, as if done in darkness, and in haste. She doesn’t turn around. No need to. More times than she cares to remember, my great-grandmother has seen my great-grandfather looking like something the cat drug in.
Let's face it, Christianity is not for everyone.If you've made such huge strides in holiness that you deem grace a crutch for those still handicapped by sin, if you detect the faint applause of angels clapping their wings at your obedience, if you've led such an exemplary life that you've landed a spot on heaven's honor roll, then you’ll feel like you’re slumming in Christianity.
A man and woman meet. She likes him, and he likes her. They hold hands. He sneaks a kiss. And in time, if everything goes right, he pops the question. She says "Yes," and before you know it, wedding bells are ringing. It happens every day. It happened to Ed and Mary. But their love story was a long time in coming. He was 82 and she 74. And this was the first, and the last, marriage for both.
The news couldn’t have come at a worse time. An accident at work had put my job on the line. If I didn’t get the bills paid, collection agencies would soon be blowing up my phone. And the woman to whom I’d pledged myself turned out to have a spring face and a winter heart.
A few years ago, I made a decision that redirected the rest of my life. It was a career change, but deeper down, it was profoundly more. It was a life change.
Over the last couple of weeks, Dr. Duane Miller has been teaching a class at Crown of Life Lutheran Church, San Antonio, TX, on Islam. He's introduced us not only to the religion's history and theology, but also drawn upon his Ph.D. work to relate some of the conversations he's had with men and women who converted from Islam to Christianity. I asked him to write an article about the difference between these two Faith's understanding of divine love. I thank him for his insights.
The worth of a congregation is determined by statistics. A church with 25 people in the pews is not as important to Christ’s kingdom as a church with 2500. It’s simple arithmetic, really. The more worshipers, the more worth. The larger the church, the larger accolades it deserves.
In some churches, today, January 27 marks the commemoration of one of the most celebrated preachers in Christian history, St. John Chrysostom (his name means "golden tongue").
It is good for you to have family. It is good for you to have friends. It is good for you to have those with whom you can share a beer, share a laugh, share a life. Blessed is the man on whom God has bestowed these gifts.
Jesus is always many things: always truthful, always faithful, always divine. But he is not always nice.