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In a church I once served as pastor, there was an infrequent attender who was always chasing after various get-rich-quick schemes that never amounted to anything much. Most of her pursuits involved little work and little investment, especially on her part; and it seemed all of them involved the pyramiding of other people's money. One time she set up a meeting with me to try to sell the idea that, together, we could get the whole congregation involved in selling pre-paid phone cards, an item that you may have forgotten about now but something that was quite popular back before we all carried cell phones. The idea was that you purchased these credit-card-like-things that contained a set number of pre-paid minutes for long-distance calls; and instead of the hassle of dropping coins into a pay phone, you simply entered the numbers on the card and talked for as long as you had minutes available. My parents used to mail me phone cards in college, which they would expect me to use to call home. Calling card rates were cheaper than dialing direct, and you could always get some really good deals if you shopped around.Read full transcript...
The politics of change can be challenging to negotiate in church today. This article is the first in a three-part series about new perspectives we can take to approaching issues of change.
"You hold in your hands a human heart," writes Day1 radio host Peter Wallace in the preface to Benjamin Pratt’s new book, Short Stuff from a Tall Guy: Wisdom Gleaned from Life’s Daily Journey. "It is the heart of a minister. A caregiver. A storyteller. It is the heart of a fellow sojourner on the path to a richer, fuller, more meaningful life."
A reader named Nick writes: I would like to engage in practices like centering prayer, but in the instructions for these meditations, I often hear an emphasis on finding a silent place to engage in these activities. I don’t have problems finding a silent place, but silence is not something that I carry with me. I have a condition called Tinnitus that causes me to perceive a ringing sound in my ear, and this ringing sound will likely not be going away anytime soon.
I noticed a young woman who had tattooed on her left arm in bold letters: "Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God." So I asked her, "Tell me about your tattoo." Her face lit up and for the next ten minutes she talked and talked.
Lent is making something of a comeback as Christians who historically have observed the season bump up against those who don’t in the blogosphere. But the language of Lent, which is rooted in larger Christian practice, often makes people uncomfortable.
I think I've been hearing the refrain of Psalm 30:5 all of my life. I've heard it proclaimed with powerful conviction from the pulpit and I've heard it beautifully intoned in the melodies of gospel songs and anthems.
In our blog post every Monday we will select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. On March 8, 2015 we will celebrate The Third Sunday in Lent.
On any given Saturday, people join Habitat for Humanity teams and commit to work to help eradicate poverty housing. The individual volunteers give of their time, energy and physical ability because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Similarly, in the HBO TV drama “Game of Thrones,” individuals from the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos volunteer to serve as The Night’s Watch.
An intrepid explorer of the connections between popular culture and the spiritual realms invites us to travel with him as Dante did with his guide Virgil 700 years ago into Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso—a classic tale that we know as The Divine Comedy. Our guide is Greg Garrett, a noted scholar at Baylor University and author of 20 previous books. He calls his book, Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination.
I was reading this article in the NYT, entitled, "Madam, CEO, Get Me a Coffee.” And it says a lot of the things that we have been reading and experiencing for decades about women. The workplace responds differently to the ways women work, and especially when it comes to staying late and helping others. This is particularly true for our work in the church.