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The Spirit of the World

The Christian is called to separation from the world, but we must be sure we know what we mean (or more important, what God means) by the world. We are likely to make it mean something external only and thus miss its real meaning. The theatre, cards, liquor, gambling: these are not the world; they are merely an external manifestation of the world. Our warfare is not against mere worldly ways, but against the spirit of the world. For man, whether he is saved or lost, is essentially spirit. The wo...
Tags: World, Jesus


New arrivals flood Colombia as Venezuela crisis worsens

Colombia (MNN) -- Each day, thousands of new faces merge into Colombian society. While an estimated 45,000 people cross the border each day and then return to their home in Venezuela, UNHCR reports , “up to 5,000 of them remain in Colombia or continue their journeys in search of safety and a new life.” According to an  in-depth summary by BBC News, 3 million people have left Venezuela since 2014. Colombia has taken in the most Venezuelan migrants of any South American country. Officials ann...
Tags: Europe, Greece, Syria, BBC News, Colombia, Un, Venezuela, South America, Jesus, Lebanon, UNHCR, Christ, Amg, Cali, AMG International, Cali Colombia


Education paves a positive future for refugee children in Lebanon

Lebanon (MNN) – Horizons International’s School of Hope is educating and positively influencing refugee children in Lebanon. It started as a class of 20 Christian refugee kids from Muslim backgrounds who were in dire need of an education. Horizons International’s Pierre Houssney says God worked through the ministry center where the program is based to start drawing Muslims to Himself. In 2014, the center saw more than 400 Muslims embrace faith in Jesus. (Photo courtesy of Horizons Inter...
Tags: Syria, Jesus, Christian, Lebanon, Pierre Houssney, Houssney, Horizons International, Horizons International 's School of Hope, Positive Influence Horizons International, Horizons International via Facebook


Cannes Film Review: Abel Ferrara’s ‘Tommaso’

Everyone knows that Willem Dafoe is one of our greatest actors (that’s been clear ever since he played the wrenching psychodramatic Jesus of “The Passion of the Christ,” 30 years ago). But because the film industry often shoehorns him into “character” roles, he is also one of our wiliest, most resourceful actors. Dafoe never just […]
Tags: Reviews, Jesus, Cannes film festival, Tommaso, Cannes Film Review, Abel Ferrara, Willem Dafoe, Dafoe


When We Don’t Feel Strong Enough for Our Own Lives

Alia Joy offers her stories to you as permission to tell your own, to be honest about the unlikely places God might meet us and to make peace with areas that aren’t Sunday-school shiny or put together. Alia unflinchingly wields her words to heal as much as she cuts in her deeply personal exploration of what it means to be poor in spirit and how the Kingdom of Heaven is an inheritance for those who know what it means to need. With lyrical prose, she poignantly writes about meeting Jesus in her...
Tags: Books, Hope, Religion, Guest Posts, Beauty, Faith, Humility, Jesus, Baker, Communion, Alia, Alia Joy


Insomnia prayer

It happens more often than I would like. The red-rimmed numbers on the clock tell a tale of the terrible twos: it is so early in the morning that it is still last night, but sleep has already left my bed. I am not like Samuel, called to attention out of my dreams. I am not like the psalmist, tossing and turning and soaking my pillow with tears. I do sometimes find myself overwhelmed with worry. “Let the worries of today be enough,” says the gospel, “for tomorrow will have worries of its own;”...
Tags: Religion, Jesus, Samuel, EUCLID Ohio, Speaking to the Soul, Rosalind C Hughes


The Episcopal Church and abortion

The Office of Public Affairs of the Episcopal Church responded to questions raised by new laws restricting access to abortion in states such as Alabama, Missouri, and Ohio, by sending out an email last week summarizing the positions taken by General Convention on the issues of abortion and reproductive healthcare, noting that, “the General Convention of The Episcopal Church recognizes the moral, legal, personal, and societal complexity of the issue. The diversity of views within the Church repre...
Tags: Virginia, Church, Religion, Arizona, Abortion, Ohio, Jesus, Episcopal Church, Goff, The Lead, Rosalind Hughes, The Episcopal Church, Reproductive Healthcare, General Convention, Ecclesiastical Authority, Featured Story


Our Tears Can Set Us Free

Jesus seems to have spent a lot of time teaching at dinner parties. He also had his feet anointed by several women at dinner parties. In Luke 5, Jesus was at a dinner at the ex-tax collector, Levi, at his house. Levi was the tax collector who gave up everything to follow Jesus, but was still well-to-do enough to host a grand feast in Jesus’ honor. And he invited all this tax collector friends. And the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes stood around and clucked amongst themselves at the rabbi ...
Tags: Religion, Jerusalem, Middle East, Jesus, Levi, Mediterranean, Berkeley California, Speaking to the Soul, Luke Jesus, Dana Kramer, Dana Kramer-Rolls, Judea Meeting


When Jesus Seems Distant

When Jesus seems distant, the antidote is not to run away from Him. Ignore Him. Or throw your hands up and decide to become a practical atheist. It’s to act as if He’s near. That’s called faith. You can’t see Him, but you believe that He is with you (as He promised) and act accordingly. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 Now if you’re tolerating a particula...
Tags: Religion, Spirituality, Jesus, James, Grieve


Why Is It Better That Christ Went Away (John 16:7)?

It’s better for us that Jesus is gone. He said so when he left. But why is Christ’s physical absence from us better for us than his physical presence?Listen Now
Tags: Religion, Jesus, John, Christ


A La Carte (May 22)

Today’s Kindle deals include a few odds and ends. You may also want to look at Westminster Books and their sale on Bibles. Is There Really an “Orthodox” View on Sexuality? Trevin Wax: “Many denominations in the West have been rocked by controversy over sexuality these days, not because Christians are obsessed with others’ sexual activities, but because so many Christians around the world recognize, instinctively, that the push to change the definition of marriage means much m...
Tags: Blogging, Canada, United States, Jesus, Niagara Falls, A La Carte, Sproul, Westminster Books, Aaron Armstrong, Robert Godfrey, Niagara Falls Who


Work: Its Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation

I t’s not like we’re hurting for books about a Christian understanding of work. In fact, the past few years have seen nothing short of an explosion of interest in the subject. So when yet another showed up in my mailbox, I was tempted to set it aside. I was tempted, that is, until I saw D.A. Carson’s commendation: “The last few years have witnessed a flurry of books that treat a Christian view of work. This is the best of them. Well written, historically comprehensive, theolo...
Tags: Work, Book Reviews, Blogging, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Genesis, Luke, Matt, Carson, Gospels, Daniel Doriani, John Calvin Abraham Kuyper


Muslims taught to target Christian girls in Indonesia

Indonesia (MNN) -- Christians in Indonesia face some of the harshest forms of persecution. It’s a risk for believers to openly share about their faith. If they do, they could be beaten or even killed. Yet, recently, a new form of persecution is on the rise -- Christian girls are being targeted by Muslim men. Christian Girls Targeted “Influential leaders are literally training young men to target Christian girls to impregnate them,” World Mission’s Greg Kelley says. “They target them ...
Tags: Indonesia, America, Muslim, Jesus, Greg Kelley, Kelley, Fikri Rasyid, Muslim men Christian Girls Targeted, Andy Al Mesura


Take a Real Rest

One of the first Bibles my mom ever gave me was hot pink. It was called The  Message: Remix. It came in a plastic sleeve to protect the outside texture of the Bible, which felt rubbery and gel-like to the touch. It was very hip for the early 2000s, and I loved it. I filled that Bible with scribbles and sticky notes about how Jesus was showing Himself to me. Even as a young girl, I was astounded by the way Jesus loved me. I kept a cup of highlighters and pens on my bedside table and carefu...
Tags: Inspiration, Jesus, Matthew, Aliza, Recommended Reads, Eugene H Peterson, The Message, CT Winners


Wednesday with Michael Spencer: Why People Get Upset that I’ve Changed (and Am Changing)

Wednesday with Michael Spencer From 2008 I can now officially say I’ve written my most controversial sentence. It’s various versions of “I am rethinking what I believe about God.” I know. I know. Somehow this has been translated into “I’m no longer a Christian,” “I’m abandoning Christianity,” and “I’m ordering anchovies on that pizza.” Why has this idea been so upsetting to some of my readers? I’ve tried a few explanatory thoughts out. If you are interested, you can test drive them as well. (I...
Tags: Religion, Jesus, Luther, Michael Spencer, Christ, Jonah, Jesus Christ, Dobson, Jeremiah Wright, Joel Osteen, Spiritual Formation, Michael Bauman, Michael Spencer From


Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18   (12) I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. (13) And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. (14) I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. (15) What is crooked cannot be made straight, And what is lacking cannot be numbered. (16) I communed wi...
Tags: Israel, Jerusalem, Jesus, John, Christ, Jesus Christ, PAUL, Adam, John W Ritenbaugh, Ecclesiastes, Solomon, Ecclesiastes Solomon, Christian Living Instinct Knowing Madness, Folly Man Created


God is in charge

Photo by Walter Chávez on Unsplash Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  God sees to it that certain things happen. If He said it then it will happen, then it will happen. Everything that happens in the life of Jesus seems to refer back to something that had been foretold. God knew the future. He may not have made it happen but either way, He knew and knows the future. God stands outside of time. H...
Tags: Religion, Jesus, Daily Bible Devotionals, Walter Chávez, Unsplash Matthew


What Is Biblical Hearing? Kevin Vanhoozer on Hearing and Doing

Photo by Ilya Ilford on Unsplash By Kevin Vanhoozer In perhaps the most famous Arabian Nights story, Aladdin discovers a magic lamp that, when rubbed, produces a genie who invariably responds, “Your wish is my command.” It is the classic response of a servant to his master: “To hear is to obey.” But in real life there is often a gap, sometimes a yawning chasm, between hearing and obeying. Not everyone is as fortunate as Aladdin: sometimes servants hear, and do half-heartedly; at oth...
Tags: Books, Religion, Articles, Jesus, God, Hearing, Mark, Luke, Matt, Aladdin, Mount Jesus, Kevin Vanhoozer, Lexham, Parables, Matthew 16:18, Ilya Ilford


Christianity is Far More Radical Than Leftist Ideologies

I was blessed by this quote this week, especially after I found out who wrote it. “Christianity was also, to my surprise, radical – far more radical than the leftist ideologies with which I had previously been enamoured. The love of God was unlike anything which I expected, or of which I could make sense. In becoming fully human in Jesus, God behaved decidedly unlike a god. Why deign to walk through death’s dark valley, or hold the weeping limbs of lepers, if you are God? Why submit to humili...
Tags: Religion, Jesus, Christ, Luke, Rethinking, Sarah Irving Stonebraker


4 Themes I See in Complex Ministry Teams

+ Why Clarifying Roles is a Critical Issue for Church Health & Growth I’ve spent a lot of time with a lot of church teams at this point, and I’ve noticed some common themes adding complexity to teams and ultimately getting them stuck. Tell me if you see any of these in your church: 1. Roles Overlap. Every team will at times need to take on the other roles listed. Problems begin develop, though, when a team spends the majority of their team assuming a role that belongs to another ...
Tags: Religion, Read, Jesus, Unstuck Church, Staffing And Structure, Ministry Teams, Unstuck Teams, Complex Ministry Teams, Critical Issue for Church Health Growth


Eternal Reward

In the First Epistle of John two words are used over and over, the words they and ye, and they designate two wholly different worlds. They refers to the men and women of Adam's fallen world; ye refers to the chosen ones who have left all to follow Christ. The apostle does not genuflect to the little god Tolerance (the worship of which has become in America a kind of secondary surface religion); he is bluntly intolerant. He knows that tolerance may be merely another name for indifference. It take...
Tags: America, Jesus, John, Jack, Daniel, Adam, Ripper


Matthew 16:24-25

Matthew 16:24-25   (24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. He tells us to deny ourselves. This means we must disown and renounce ourselves and subjugate everything—all our works, interests, and enjoyments—to the standards set by God. Paul commands us to br...
Tags: Jesus, Matthew, PAUL, John O Reid, Captivity Hungering


10 Ways to Protect Your Children Like the Good Shepherd

A Good Shepherd is intent on protecting his sheep from the ravenous wolves on the prowl. Such a shepherd knows where the wolves come from, when they attack, and how they attack. An authentic Good Shepherd is even willing to lay down his own life for the sake of the safety of the sheep. (Jn. 10:1-21) Of course, the best model in the world of the Good Shepherd is Jesus Himself. He says the Good Shepherd is willing to lay down His life and die for the sheep entrusted to His care. The welfare of...
Tags: Usa, Featured, Religion, David, Jesus, Aristotle, Joy, Mary, PAUL, Phil, Saint Paul, Jesus Himself, John Donne, Augustine, John Bosco, Marriage & Family


How Can Sacred Art Help Us to Pray?

Prayer and Plastic Art “Plastic arts,” in its most general definition, refers to the visual arts whose products, once formed, remain still. Music and dance and culinary art appear and vanish, ebbing away while we enjoy them. But painting and drawing, sculpture and architecture, stay where they are. They sit and wait, perpetually available. Of course, movies and dvd-players and Youtube videos and Netflix accounts are also perpetually available. If you’re looking for something to look at,...
Tags: Art, Featured, Religion, Netflix, Beauty, Jesus, Prayer, Mary, Adam, Michelangelo, Brueghel, Faith & Spirituality, Books and Art, Bergson, Josef Pieper, Miravalle


Getting Up in the Morning: Our First Spiritual Battle

A new day begins. The alarm clock sounds. It is time to get up quickly from bed. The moment has arrived to offer the first sacrifice to our Lord. The body says, “No, not yet!” but the soul says, “Yes! It is time!” And the most important part, the soul, must conquer. It is the first of the many affirmations of love that, with God’s help, are to come throughout the day. It is not a matter of thinking that we are better than others, but of struggling with ourselves, aware that the sweetest victory...
Tags: England, Featured, Religion, Jesus, Morning, Prayer, Nelson, Mary, PAUL, Luke, St Joseph, St Mark, Faith & Spirituality, Sophia Institute Press, Sophia Excerpts, St Josemaria


Do you want to be Healed? (John 5:1-9) Sunday School Lesson

The download above includes the complete lesson plan with game and craft suggestions. We’ve also included T is for Trust coloring page and a worksheet on Jesus’ miracles. This is another fun miracle lesson, with a couple of interesting twists. In this story, Jesus encounters a man who has been crippled for many years. Jesus first asks the man if he wants to get better. Not realizing who he was speaking with, the man explained his situation, and received healing in an unexpec...
Tags: Religion, Jerusalem, Jesus, God, John, Lesson Plans, Bethesda, Jesus He, Sunday School Lesson, Featured This Week


Healing at the Pool (John 5:1-9) Children’s Sermon

Children’s MessageHealing at the Pool: Jesus, the true Lifeguard   Main Objective: It’s important for us to realize and recognize where our trust and hope are found. We need to pay attention to God’s Word and to be open to its truth. If we put our faith in the wrong things, we might miss the beauty of potential blessings. Law/Gospel Theme: Early church leaders were often focused on the letter of the law. Not only did they insist on following rules, but they ...
Tags: Religion, Jerusalem, Jesus, John, Christ, Bethesda, Object Lessons, Jordan River, NIV, Sermons for Kids, Biblica Inc


Hard Times? How to Hear God’s Song Louder Than Any Hard Times

Grief, spiritual doubt, chronic pain, suffering; when we are hurting it can be hard to say, “God’s got this, God’s got me.” Aubrey Sampson knows this better than anyone. She walks the path of lament, finding God’s presence in the middle of what may feel like His absence. It’s a grace to welcome Aubrey to the farm’s front porch today… guest post by Aubrey Sampson A fter a few appointments, my grief-counselor said this: “I’d like you to think of suffering as an invitation. You have two choices:...
Tags: Books, Hope, Bono, Religion, Guest Posts, Chicago, Faith, Jesus, Mary Poppins, Aubrey, Immanuel, Tyndale, Restoring Wonder, Seeing God, Redbud Writers Guild, Aubrey Sampson


Let Love Be without Hypocrisy

Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do...
Tags: Love, Inspiration, Bible, Jesus, CSB, Sunday Scripture


Working out society’s relationship with marijuana: Doug McIntyre

I was at the gym last week, or more accurately, I was at the gym parking lot because it’s cheaper than the actual gym. So, I’m out there swinging big heavy metal orbs and trying to shove my elbows over the band of bacon grease and glazed donuts that has somehow lodged itself around my mid-section when a sweaty young man in a designer workout ensemble pops out the side door and nods in my direction before firing up the joint he withdrew from his side pocket. He took a couple of tokes, tamped out ...
Tags: Texas, California, Opinion, China, America, Sport, Netflix, Soccer, Stockton, Jesus, Denver, Wells Fargo, Doug Mcintyre, Johnnie Walker, Opinion columns, Alabama Kentucky South Dakota