Welcome to the July 4th, 2012 edition of the Christian Blog Carnival!
One of the things that make America so great is the ability to express yourself, much to the joy, and even pain, of those around you. The freedom of speech is a two-edged sword and more often than not the one who wields it doesn’t fully grasp the power behind it.
Trials and tribulations are words that we do not like to hear. We all face different trials and tribulations. They come to us in every walk of life. Some of us will face financial trials for our entire life. Many will face physical trials or troubles.
Paul Kuritz has two posts up this week.
The original printing was for 50,000 copies. Twice the number rose to 200,000 copies. Today there are 15.5 million copies of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novel, The Hunger Games in print. Fantasies which achieve such popularity usually tap into a deep hunger in the population.
The ship is sinking. The seas are rough. The only lifeboat can hold no more than six. Eight people climb aboard. Who should stay? Who should go? Many group discussions of ethical dilemmas begin with scenarios like this one.
I have been re-reading “How Much Does God Control?” very carefully. It is a booklet written by Herb Vander Lugt for RBC Ministries. Before going to bed last night, I was reading about the conflicting kingdoms of God and Satan.
InFaith has four entries this month.
IFor about two years a group of people met in our home every Thursday. We had a large home, and it facilitated the gathering very well. As a group we became quite close to one another and grew to love each other in a deeper way. Upon moving last summer, we were no longer able to host the gathering because our new home was quite small, but we remained in contact with some of the folks through phone calls and occasional visits.
Capernwray Hall is made up of four primary buildings – the main manor house, where students live; the dining room, which is fairly new; the sports hall, which has a pool and gym; and a conference hall. The conference hall, I remembered from my past visits, had been there a long time. Many memories had been made in that conference hall. I learned recently that over 30,000 people are graduates of Torchbearers Bible Schools. Many of them had sat in the desks in the conference hall at Capernwray, making notes about the lectures of the long line of Christian leaders who had spoken there.
Not long ago, a longstanding InFaith ministry faced some issues related to the board, and several organizations connected to the ministry held a meeting to discuss some grievances they had with one another. I attended this meeting and listened for about three hours as several people spoke, often angrily and always with passion.
Less than forty-eight hours from now I will be at Penn Hospital getting both my knees replaced. It’s about a six-week recovery, and so I’ve been scrambling around, trying to figure out how to cover all the bases before I have this surgery done. It’s a little scary and strange to think that I’m going to have mechanical knees instead of real knees, that I’m choosing to put myself through pain, knowing it will be better for me at the other end of the line.
The book of James is a book of action. He doesn’t fool around. Everything is practical, “Do this,” or, “Don’t do that.” What commands do you think James gives us most? My gut feeling says something like this…
At our local church Bible Study and Prayer Meetings are held on Wednesdays. There are two meetings, one in the morning and the other in the evening. I have been attending the morning meeting for five weeks now, and I find it full of blessings. Our local church has 16 members, and there are usually about 20 people attending the worship service on Sunday. Our prayer meeting on a weekday is even smaller. There are two or three people in the morning session and three or four in the evening, both including the pastor. I guess it is one of the smallest prayer meetings in the world.
Some might say, it only takes one passionate person to change the world – and that’s not necessarily the leader. Derek Sivers gives a short talk over at TED in which he presents the idea that it is really the first follower that can accelerate something into being a movement.
I’ve always been haphazard with personal Bible reading. For a long time after I became a Christian, I rarely read the Bible on my own. I almost completely relied on other people – church, Bible study, one-to-one – for my consumption of Scripture. This wasn’t because I hated reading the Bible; I just didn’t think I needed to spend time sitting around reading it on my own. I didn’t get why so many Christians had ‘morning devotions’ or ‘quiet times’. It sounded all a bit too legalistic for me.
“So how have you enjoyed our church?” asked Pastor Fred. He was the evangelism pastor for First Community Church, and he was out following up with recent visitors. “It was interesting,” said Ed noncommittally. Ed had taken his family to First Community Church two out of the last four weeks, and had said that any Saturday afternoon would do for a visit when he filled out the visitor form.