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Have you ever been to a church Christmas program to see Mary and Joseph riding on a donkey, barn yard animals around the manger, a baby Jesus with no hint of crying, and wise men in the background, but you thought, “I wonder if that is really how the first Christmas scene looked?”
She was a normal-looking young woman. Her baseball cap and glasses shielded most of her face. She sat in a row of chairs. There were people on her left and right. With a book in one hand and a bag in the other, she looked familiar. I could not place her but I had seen her before. Something was familiar. Maybe it was her logo on her bag. I walked around to get a different angle on her facial features. My heartbeat was beginning to pick up. Should I approach her or not? What if I make a fool of myself? What if it is her, and I miss the opportunity to meet her?
It is exciting to experience. No, it is not a Cardinals football game, though it does get a little noisy. No, it is not the latest movie. Neither is it a trip to Disneyland, though it does involve a lot of creativity and imagination. It does have something in common with sporting events, movie theaters and Disneyland.
Oct. 5 is World Communion Sunday. It is an annual event, the first Sunday of each October, in which Christians worldwide celebrate our oneness in Christ. There is a unity to the faith, scarcely as it might appear and in spite of our many differences and traditions. Special services will be held around the globe testifying to this fact.
When you stare death in the face one day, which we all will have to do, will you be able to say, “I have lived a full life? I am ready to die.” Wait! I know death is not a popular subject, but please don’t turn the page just yet to the sports section to catch up on high school football stats. I would ask you to just give me a few minutes of your time to describe a full life that you can live in and through Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
Welcome to August! As you know, this month ushers in the busyness of the fall. It’s the beginning of school for the kids, football games to watch on the weekends and many fun fall activities. And on top of all that, many of us will be working hard at our jobs during the day, despite the fact that we will oftentimes bring our work home too. Many times we will overcommit ourselves this fall by signing up or scheduling a ton of activities. And before we know it, time has flown by, it’s November, and we’re exhausted. As Christians, what could we do this fall to make sure we really tune in to what God wants for our life in the midst of the busyness?
I’ve said it before, there’s nothing cooler than apes in comics. Comic book publishers know it, readers know it, and even Hollywood has jumped on the ape bandwagon again (see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.) Since Edgar Rice Burroughs first planted poor baby Greystoke in the middle of the Mangani (great apes) tribe off the coast of Africa, spectacular simians have been a huge part of our pop culture heritage; and at the recent Phoenix Comicon I happened to come across one of the most awesome ape adventures of all.
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Sameer Sarmast leaves the house each day with his wallet, his keys and... dates.
On Easter morning a Sunday School teacher began to quiz her class of young children about the real meaning of the day. She asked them, “What is Easter?” and the students were quick and ready to respond.
People around the world gather to wave flags, stare in awe at fireworks, throw candy, and line the streets to watch parades that commemorate a historical event. Many times these parades are linked to current revelry of food, drinking, and a full out party atmosphere. They are fun events. We enjoy them. All the while the true cultural-historical reason for the commemoration is often misplaced. Forgotten are the lives that were committed, and even lost, to bring about such historical events.
We’re still in the season of Lent, and our 40 days of exploration into the desert regions of our hearts and lives. As we tip into the last half of Lent, we might be feeling a little impatient and ready to move on. Perhaps that feeling is born from looking ahead and planning for Holy Week, and Easter celebrations. Or maybe it’s because the weather is so perfect at this time of year, we’re restless to get moving in body, mind and spirit.
LOS ANGELES — When Taylor Schilling arrives on the set of "Orange Is the New Black," her make-under begins.
With Mardi Gras looming, I thought it might be fun to cook up some New Orleans-styled goodies featuring duck, andouille sausage and Creole seasoning. These rich ingredients are typical of the fare from this town that knows how to party — an instinct that goes into overdrive during Mardi Gras.
I bet we all know the exclamation of “eureka” attributed to Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer, Archimedes. As the story goes, Archimedes was taking a bath. He noticed that the level of the water rose as he got into the tub, and realized in that great epiphany moment that the volume of water displaced by his body could, with a little mathematical maneuvering, be used to determine his body’s density. According to rest of the story, he was so excited he jumped out of the bath, and ran naked through the streets shouting “eureka,” which translated into English means, “I’ve found it!” History doesn’t seem to have any comment on his lack of clothing!
As the year draws to a close, new awards and Top 10 lists are springing up right and left, many of them singing the praises of the technically brilliant but emotionally flat “Gravity.” While it’s no doubt a must-see experience for any cinephile, the same could be said of an equally immersive but far richer film, “The Great Beauty.” For nearly two and a half hours, this Fellini-esque epic transports us right to the heart of Rome’s vibrant nightlife and high society as we follow an aging journalist who begins to see the world around him from a new perspective.
As we approach Thanksgiving, and the weeks that seem to race towards Christmas, there’s plenty to be grateful to God for in our lives. Thanksgiving invites us to take time to consider all of our blessings. While some of us may be thrilled with the material things of life, many of us look around and realize that the most important things in life aren’t things at all. They’re our relationships. That’s our relationship with God in Christ Jesus, as well as our relationships with family, friends, and neighbors. Shortly after Thanksgiving, Christians begin another season of intentional reflection: the season of Advent. Since we’re giving thanks and taking time to celebrate all our relationships, let’s take a closer look at the one relationship that changed the world.
PHOENIX — When Twitter and Facebook first began to catch fire, so did food trucks. Mobile kitchens in cities like Los Angeles and New York branded themselves, using social media to gain foodie followers. But the gourmet meals-on-wheels trend was slow to hit Phoenix streets.
While Tarek Morrison burst onto the high school football scene as Desert Ridge's star quarterback in 2012, twin brother Taren spent the season in the background.
Tommy Rees and Notre Dame felt right at home during another trip to South Bend South in Texas.
I know who’s ultimately at fault for the government shutdown. It isn’t the Democrats. It isn’t the Republicans.
Rosh Hashana typically is a solidly autumnal holiday, falling sometimes as late as October. But this year, the Jewish New Year comes early — the first week of September, a time when summer's bounty is still fresh for much of the country.
It is more than politics, it is more than economics, it is more than our foreign policy. As a once “famous” philosopher said, “I have met the enemy, and it is us.” That was in an old cartoon called “Pogo.”