During our 50th celebration we received many compliments as a church family. Some were for relatively unimportant things. Others for very significant factors. The highest compliment we received, I believe, was from one person who does not often speak publicly. She rose in testimony time and said that she liked our church and was attracted to it because we not only taught the Bible and preached about it but we lived it too. That has to be one of the key characteristics of every good church. Jesus said it was the description of every wise follower of his. Here’s a great article on how to choose a good church. I think the four ideals this author unpacks describe Community Wesleyan in Kirkville too.
Here’s a very thoughtful article on the subject that is well worth thinking about. It’s so easy to get out of the habit that we need reminding from time to time why it is so important.
It is a commentary on our society when the jackpot or the winners for government sponsored gambling becomes the banner headline news. Is there nothing more important, more transformational, more threatening, or more informative going on today that should be the banner headlines? I consider it an insult that news media seem to think I find who won to be the most newsworthy information today.
It’s what sells, not what’s important that we see
First, it is a commentary on what runs the news media. We are not fed what is important or what is significant, but rather what people will click or buy –that is, what will sell ads. So news executives are not promoted primarily because they serve society well but because they pander to the whims of the slice of society who click on (buy) news. I contend that when we decide to make mega-million jackpots the banner headline, we should consider the detrimental effect of promoting the economic parasite of gambling. Continue reading “Comments on the Mega-Millions Jackpot”
Often people ask me if they can be a Christian and not go to church. I think it would be like trying to be a gourmet cook without frequenting the produce department of the grocery store; or trying to be a good basketball player without going to practices. The excuses people use for staying away are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and often revealing. Since Easter, the high point of the Christian year, is little more than a week away, this is a great time to remind ourselves of just how important it is to express our faith and grow in it by gathering together. Here is a good article summarizing why attending church is important.
City schools are a perennial topic of conversation. What can be done to help poor districts? What helps students who are struggling? So much talk and money is spent on things which don’t really make a difference because political correctness keeps us from endorsing what really does make a difference – religious faith and stable family structure. This study should be labeled as a landmark study. It should be required reading for politicians overseeing schools and for school officials.
I am very opposed to the government making money from its citizens by promoting gambling of any kind. It is immmoral as it is a way for the powerful to shirk responsibility and to rob the vulnerable instead. In the following article Albert Mohler Jr. argues convincingly that besides being immoral, increasing casino gambling is also counter-productive financially for communities.
I read a great quote this evening that is worth posting. It helps provide prospective for the New Year too. I’m enjoying the book very much.
“The happiest people are those who have invested their time in others. The unhappiest people are those who wonder how the world is going to make them happy.” (John C. Maxwell in Be a People Person, 2007, p. 20)
This morning as I was reading my devotional book, I found some great thoughts from E. Stanley Jones. Sometimes we belittle the small kindnesses that we do for others out of love. But just maybe they are more important that we think. “The love of God is the biggest thing in the universe, and when that love is incarnate in a deed, then the deed is big….We don’t try to love; we just let Love love. And as we do, …his perfect Love perfects our love and perfects us in the process.” (365 Days with E. Stanley Jones p. 351) With this perspective, we are less likely to hold back when it seems sacrificial or to unconsciously expect returns on our investments. We are privileged to a channel for God’s love and we are being enlarged in heart through loving, whether or not it is returned.
I have been saying for years that our justice system needs to consider how to restore non-violent offenders. This is as much a part of justice as is punishment. This is a great article by Charles Colson commending the state of Ohio for taking a major step in this direction. I recommend it.