“The thing I would take away most from my father is he taught us about God, how to fear God, how to love God and how to forgive. Each one of us forgive the killer, the murderer, we want to wrap our arms around him …
I promise you I could not do that (forgive) if I didn’t know God, if I didn’t know him as my God and my Savior. I could not forgive that man. And I feel no animosity against him at all. I actually feel sadness in my heart for this man.”
If demography is destiny, then Christianity’s future lies in Africa. By 2060, a plurality of Christians – more than four-in-ten – will call sub-Saharan Africa home, up from 26% in 2015, according to a new analysis of demographic data by Pew Research Center. At the same time, the share of Christians living in many other regions – notably Europe – is projected to decline.
As Easter and Passover help fill churches and synagogues this week, a new Gallup poll suggests the content of the sermons could be the most important factor in how soon worshippers return. Gallup measured a total of seven different reasons why those who attend a place of worship at least monthly say they go. Three in four worshippers noted sermons or talks that either teach about scripture or help people connect religion to their own lives as major factors spurring their attendance.
Lying in the cylinder of the scanner, those words, “terminal” and “inoperable” were fresh on my mind. Then it dawned on me what day it was. It was Saturday. Not just any Saturday, but the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter. The day Jesus’ body lay buried in a tomb. The day before he rose from the dead.
No comparison, really, to a PET scanner cylinder, but I thought of him in there. I talked to him in there. I felt his presence with me. Tears filled my eyes and rolled down my cheeks, and I wondered how they might show up on the scan. I wondered what parts of my brain were lighting up with those emotions of fear and sadness, overcome by gratitude and peace, remembering I wasn’t alone.
And these are the only things that really matter to me when evaluating my shepherding:
I have to look myself in the mirror.
I have to look my wife in the eyes.
And someday, I will have to see my God face to face.
- “I am struggling with depression.”
- “Don’t criticize me right before or after I preach.”
- “I worry about my family in the church fishbowl.”
- “I wish the ‘healthy’ church members in our church would stand up to the bullies and critics.”
- “Pray for me; I need it.”
- “I don’t know if we can pay our personal bills.”
- “I am so tired of attending mundane meetings.”
- “Don’t ask me to do something right before I preach.”
- “I can’t keep up with all the changes in culture and churches.”
- “It hurts me deeply when we lose a church member.”
The boat blunder is only the latest example of how failure to communicate between units is undermining the Trump administration’s ability to articulate and execute a policy. In this case, the White House blames the Pentagon for providing misleading information and a premature press release, though a fuller story will probably emerge over time. (It’s important to remember that Mattis, a decorated and respected Marine general, was supposed to be one of the more competent figures in an administration full of thin government resumes.)
When we first saw this we knew that people would get a great chuckle out of it because you cannot get more Canadian than that.
‘We talk about how awesome our Canadian beef is, but a beaver leading cattle around? It’s the most Canadian thing ever,’ she said.