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How would Jesus vote on hot topics?

By on Jul 28, 2014 in The World Together | 0 comments

How would Jesus vote on hot topics?

I read an article on Huffington Post about a new survey by a nonpartisan organization called YouGov of self-identified Christians. Asked how they believe Jesus would vote on various hot current topics, here’s a run-down of the results: 1. Jesus would not support gay marriage. 2. Jesus would oppose legal abortion. 3. Jesus would support universal healthcare. 4. Jesus would not support the death penalty for murderers. 5. Jesus would not support stricter gun laws. 6. Jesus would not support high taxes on the wealthy. 7. Jesus would support...

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Four Brethren in Christ distinctives I don’t want to lose

By on Jul 25, 2014 in The World Together | 0 comments

Four Brethren in Christ distinctives I don’t want to lose

I just returned to Philly after my first General Conference of the Brethren in Christ. It’s a biennial, national gathering designed to bring the church together for face-to-face dialogue. It was good to be together. There is a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood among us. These people are serious about loving God and others. Some of our distinctives, however, may be getting lost; I want to talk about them. 1. The Brethren in Christ are led by the Spirit, not bound by the law. Early Anabaptists sensed that their life in Christ was bigger...

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I am a bacon lover

By on Jul 24, 2014 in The World Together | 1 comment

I am a bacon lover

I. Love. Bacon. Seriously. Other words I use for it are “meat candy” and “crispy fried yum.” I cannot remember any time in the past when I have not loved bacon. I would say that my brain was hard-wired to simply love bacon. And, there is some medical evidence that pretty much points out that our brains really love bacon. So, why can’t I eat as much bacon as I want? Anyone who has any knowledge of dietary and nutritional health can give you a pretty solid answer. Words like “obesity,” “cholesterol” and “sodium” play...

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Six places time for spiritual practice might be hiding

By on Jul 23, 2014 in The World Together | 0 comments

Six places time for spiritual practice might be hiding

One of the number one questions I hear when I talk about how to incorporate faith practices into daily life is, “I would love to do that . . . if only we had the time.” My answer is always, “I think you do have the time, you just don’t know it.” For one, there are many practices that take anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes to do. That’s not a lot of time. Surely any family can find 10 minutes hiding somewhere for such an important purpose. Need help thinking of where those minutes might be hiding? Try these ideas: In the...

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Church is not Facebook

By on Jul 22, 2014 in The World Together | 0 comments

Church is not Facebook

My Saturday morning began with discord. I woke up, checked Facebook, and found my newsfeed full of statuses that made me feel sick. I couldn’t stop reading, every line filling me with anger. Who were these people glibly posting such hurtful articles? How had I let myself become vulnerable to their opinions by allowing their voices into my life? I rounded these Facebook “friends” up and without a second thought, clicked delete. Later, I went to the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly and took my seat at yet another Being a...

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Have you felt the clash of dominant cultural sensibilities?

By on Jul 21, 2014 in The World Together | 1 comment

Have you felt the clash of dominant cultural sensibilities?

The Church is filled with divisions. It is almost impossible to find followers of Jesus committed to doing the hard work of having honest and hard conversations in hopes of discerning a more truthful way. I’ve been glad to find some communities and networks that are trying to do just that. I have witnessed genuine attempts at true dialogue, speaking honestly and listening attentively in a manner that often results in clarified disagreement and demonstrable growth in common understanding and renewed solidarity. This only happens through...

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Kids and God

By on Jul 18, 2014 in The World Together | 0 comments

Each day my kids see me reading my Bible and praying. They know that I attend Bible study and understand the value that attending church holds in our family. However, there are many things about God that I don’t share with them. Often, when they ask me questions about my blog, why I have the alarm set on my phone or about a specific event — like when I spoke earlier this year in Southern California — I avoid telling them. What I should say is, “God asked me to do it,” or “It’s reminding me to pray” or “The...

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Immigrant or refugee?

By on Jul 17, 2014 in The World Together, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Immigrant or refugee?

There’s a moment in The Grand Budapest Hotel that struck me as particularly poignant social commentary. For the sake of not spoiling any of the plot, I’ll speak as generally as I can. Zero has just done something particularly helpful for Gustave, but he’s forgotten a few things that Gustave really would have appreciated. Flustered, Gustave says, “I suppose this is to be expected back in . . . where do you come from again?” Zero answers and Gustave goes on a bit of a rant, asking (rhetorically) why Zero would...

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Go to hell

By on Jul 16, 2014 in The World Together | 0 comments

Go to hell

For every season, there is a message. “Do not be afraid.” “Let my people go.” “Take up your cross.” “I have a dream.” In America today, I’ve come to believe, God’s Word for us is, “Go to hell.” Unbeknownst to most Americans, our justice system changed radically in the late 20th century. Like most countries in the modern West, roughly one in 1,000 Americans were in prison in the early 1970s. Today, we incarcerate one in 107 Americans. Over 7 million adults are currently in jails, in prison or on probation. More than 65...

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Anabaptist readings: Christ the center

By on Jul 15, 2014 in The World Together | 0 comments

Anabaptist readings: Christ the center

Each and every person is formed by something. Our history, family, culture and life decisions (both good and bad) shape us to be who we are today. We don’t get to choose whether we are formed. But we do get to choose who and what it is that forms us. I want to take a deeper look at the ancestors of my faith who continue to have profound effects on who we are today. What did they believe; and how did those beliefs make them distinct then and now? Anabaptism is more than distinct theology. Anabaptism is people, living people. And stories,...

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