Humanity
Marquis
Gay And Christian: Believers Speak
Recently at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Mathew Clark of The Gay Christian Therapy Center hosted a panel discussion called Homosexuality and Christianity: A new approach in a polarizing debate.  Along with Mathew Clark, the panelists included Stephanie Sandberg, who directed the Actors Theatre production “Seven Passages: The Stories of Gay Christians”; Ruth Bell Olsson, president of the Grand Rapids Red Project for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; and Jim Lucas, longtime chaplain of the Gays in Faith Together support group. A highlight of the evening was the official public coming out of Dan Dobson, son of the legendary and venerable Ed...
Why Every Christian Should (Legally) Support Gay Marriage
After the passionate back-and-forth on the news yesterday, with the looming possibility of federal legislation on the issue of same sex marriage, I quietly logged into my account, and with a few clicks of the mouse replaced that picture of my gorgeous wife with one of a simple red background and a white equals sign. Marriage equality, is what it represents. I had a feeling it could be divisive, specifically among my Christian friends. Many clicked that little thumbs up picture, showing their support. Many have been silent thus far, perhaps marking their indifference. But following an amazing conversation with...
6826346935_c28cf957e3
When Does The Adventure Begin?
Is life an explosion of youth, then you reach your peak relevance, importance, and connectivity, and from there things taper off and then you get older and then you die? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I love Thai food and every week after yoga practice I eat dinner at a favorite Thai restaurant. All the servers know me, but there is one server that I enjoy seeing the most. I think she likes me too, not just because I tip her well, but I think she also enjoys the conversation. I recently learned that she plays in...
afraid
God In A Fear Factory
Growing Up in Fear As a kid, I’d often wake up in the middle of the night: gasping for air and in a cold sweat, I’d be in a state of utter horror: believing that God had returned from heaven and left me behind, I feared that I would have to struggle for three and a half to seven years to avoid the Mark of the Beast in order to be saved from eternal fire and brimstone. No, seriously. During the day, I’d keep my eyes peeled for the anti-Christ.  Democrats were particularly suspect.  The stock market was also indicative. ...
argue
Love to Hate
One look at the news lately tells me that human beings are drawn to conflict. Iran wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Israel demands a red line from the United States, so it can bomb Iran. Militants execute a 9-11 anniversary attack and kill our ambassador to Lybia. Muslims around the world use an idiotic and inflammatory film as an excuse to attack U.S diplomatic institutions in their countries. Obama and Romney get ready to duke it out for the best zinger of the debates.. The Republican House passes bills that the Democrat Senate rejects out...
runningstand
The Taste of Sin
Today I found myself listening to one of my old favorite U2 songs tonight, “Running to Stand Still” from the Joshua Tree Album. Here it is if you’ve never had the great pleasure of listening to it: Literally, it is a song written about the heroin problem that plagued Dublin in the ’80s. You can read all about the imagery within the song at the song’s Wikipedia page. It is considered by many to be one of the most complete U2 songs ever written. One of the things I like about U2 songs is something I heard someone close to...
walking2
What It Means to Follow
“Follow me” – Jesus, over and over in the Gospels When I heard the topic for this month’s synchroblog–”Follow”, I immediately thought of something Richard Rohr said in his book Breathing Underwater, centered on the spirituality of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.  He said “Jesus never said ‘worship me.’  Rather,  when he was calling his disciples he repeatedly said ‘follow me.’” I have a theory that we’d much rather worship Jesus than follow Jesus.  And for most of us, worship means singing, praying, reading the Bible, gaining insight and information, and “going to church.”  These things, while valuable, are...
fallen
Following Christ After Extreme Failure
Everyone knows the story of Judas. He was the great betrayer of Christ. For silver, for mere money, he betrayed the Savior. For him, there was no Disney ending. There was suicide. There was no chance to redeem himself. Even at one point, he realized his error. In Matthew 27, it says: “Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ They said, ‘What is that to us? See to it yourself.’...
abort
Aborting God
We were poor when I was a kid, and I don’t mean the kind of poor where you don’t get all that you want for Christmas, but the kind that our pastor would refer to as “po”…we couldn’t even afford the “or.” Back then, soda came in bottles and, you were able to turn in the glass bottles at the grocery store for a refund.  My brothers and I would take our little red wagon and comb the streets looking for old bottles that we would turn in to the Weingarten’s.  If we were lucky, we had enough to purchase...
mary mother of jesus
The Gospel According to Jesus’ Mom
Most Christians focus on every word and incident in Jesus’ life as recorded in the four Gospels.  But I’m also drawn to the people involved.  How did they relate to Jesus?  What was their story? Being the mother of three children, there is an event in the Bible I totally understand from Mary’s point of view.  She was Jesus’ mom and caught him teaching the religious teachers in the Temple in Jerusalem at the age of 12 after he had been missing for three days.  Here’s the story in Luke 2:41-52. Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the...
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