On the other hand, the notion that we meet to “perform Five Acts of Worship” misses the point of the assembly and points everything in entirely the wrong direction. It’s not a semi-pagan effort to appease an angry god by carefully following the rules hidden in the silences. It’s about so loving, so adoring God that we become like him.
I’ve resisted getting political to this point. But let me express my disappointment that some conservative politicians are now backing away from any support for immigration reform. What disappoints me more is that many of the constituents urging them to not support reform are Christians.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we as Christians were leading the way in terms of speaking up for the immigrants in our midst, making sure that our laws were fair and just, and that these people were being treated with dignity and honor?
It should be said of born-again Christians, furthermore, that many do not wish to be known by their sexual desire. Sam Allberry, a pastor and author of the important book Is God Anti-Gay?, said just this at the 2014 Together for the Gospel. Here’s what I recorded Sam as saying: “The culture says you are your sexuality. That is an appalling sense of identity to give people.” I could not agree with this more. Christians of any background can appreciate this incisive comment. We are not the sum of our lusts, our perversity, our fallenness, whatever shape such sin takes.
Yet, not once did my philosophy professors attack my faith or treat me unfairly. In fact, I found all of them to be extremely kind, patient, and generous. Several of them, including the Nietzsche expert, wrote me glowing letters of recommendation for grad school that, I’m certain, included compliments I didn’t fully deserve. I felt respected, even mentored, by them. And all of this despite the fact that they passionately disagreed with my beliefs.
Church-sponsored events are almost always designed to serve some sort of religious agenda: evangelism, missions, discipleship, marriage enrichment, serving the poor, and worship (along with many others).
But moments of divine interaction, clarity, vulnerability, holiness, and meaningful, deep, and real conversations and experiences often happen unexpectedly in our homes, at our work, at school, and while we’re at restaurants, bars, coffee shops, sporting events, and within the routine environments of our lives—the ordinary places of our existence.
Rabbi Elijah of Vilna once said, “What we create becomes meaningful to us only once we stop creating it and start to think about why we did so.” The implication is clear. We could live lives that produce countless widgets, but we won’t start truly living until we stop producing and start enjoying.
With that in mind, let’s try these questions again. Is your life coasting along? Are your relationships unhindered? Does your spouse think you hung the moon? Do your children hang on every word that flows from your mouth with humble and prompt obedience? Are your finances and future retirement plans secure? If so, be vigilant. You are highly susceptible to the schemes of the Evil One and his schemes are most likely passive. He sits back and watches ungodly pride, confidence and self-sufficiency do their dirty work.
For these, the oldest populations, the aging problem will only get worse in the next few decades, according to the U.N. data. In Japan, Italy, and Germany, the 65-plus population will account for a third of the total population by 2050, and Spain will join their ranks. Fortunately, the U.S. population will age more slowly than many others due to a high rate of immigration.
Tourist mistakes Richard Gere for beggar, gives him cold pizza
A French tourist listened to her heart when she offered her pizza to a man spotted rummaging through trash in the streets of New York, not realizing it was Richard Gere making a movie.
Karine Valnais Gombeau, a 42-year-old Parisian, spotted the actor, a knit cap pulled down over his ears, sifing through rubbish as she came out of a pizzeria near Grand Central station in Manhattan, with her husband and 15-year-old son, the New York Post reported Sunday.