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I’ve seen it multiple times, but it never fails to amaze me just how fragile our lives, as well as all the stuff of our lives, really are. One of the summer storms bouncing around the Valley at this time of year brought wind and rain ripping through our church campus. It tore up trees and threw around the roof tiles like a 2 year old in full tantrum mode. The storm was all over and done in the space of about 10 minutes, yet restoring some semblance of order took several days. The emotional impact of the scene of devastation, and the physical work also took its toll, even as we give thanks that no one was injured.
Love others as much as you love yourself,” Jesus told his followers. These words are considerably more than a sugary Sunday-school story. For those who take these words to heart, “love others” has profound, life-altering implications, not all of which are warm and fuzzy. Consider the life of Bernard Lichtenberg, arrested seven decades ago. His crime: He loved. Lichtenberg was a Catholic priest serving in Berlin before the outbreak of World War 2. When Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power, he recognized the coming terror better than most, and made it his ambition to help the Jewish people and other persecuted groups.
Friday marks the deadline that an activist group has asked the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools to revoke the charter of a local charter school if it does not agree to stop its usage of two controversial textbooks.
Here we are, deep in the Here we are, deep in the dog days of another summer. School is out, vacation days are being cashed in, and picnic baskets are being packed. Barbecues are firing, pools are splashing, and ice cream trucks are rolling. Meanwhile, thousands, yea millions, are taking to the great American highway.
The sun has just set. From where I sit, up on a ridge, I hear music from two simultaneous song sessions filling the Valley below. When campfires turn to embers, youngsters will peel themselves away from the festivities and make their drowsy way to their bunks. Their dreams will no doubt be filled with obstacle courses and tie-dye, hikes and ropes courses. Another day at summer camp is done.
his July 4, Americans again celebrated our nation and its organizing principle: Liberty. We know that our founding document establishes our inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. We’re proud to be the “land of the free and the home of the brave” and to pledge “liberty and justice for all”.
Freedom is a value we seek. We hold it as a right in the United States. We want it in our personal lives, even our professional lives. We hope to have it in our retirements and to pass it on to our children. Because we live fast-paced lives with rampant technological change, freedom often means we seek convenience. When things are convenient they seem to more readily fit our schedules. When something is convenient, it seems to help us gain some freedom of time or effort. Drive-thru fast food restaurants, cell phone providers, and other businesses seek ways to serve us in the most convenient fashion. We desire freedom and, therefore, want convenience because it promises us better results to live in this fast-paced society. Convenience buys us time and gives us freedom.
I’ve made a habit lately of studying the Amish. I use the word “study” loosely as this is not a simple curiosity of mine or some kind of theological experiment. My exploration flows out of a deep respect and admiration for their faith and spirituality. We English (that’s what the Amish call us outside their communities) recognize them because of their familiar beards, horse-drawn buggies, fine woodworking, or barn-raisings, but there’s a lot more to this group than sturdy furniture and firm dispositions. They have a lively, vibrant faith despite their archaic lifestyles.
Light serves a profound function in our lives. Receive too much or too little of it and you’ll experience both physical and emotional effects. I remember visiting Alaska in the summer and reading a book by sunlight at two in the morning. This was a pretty cool experience but it made it quite difficult to sleep at my normal times. I also have many friends who live in Seattle and talk about the lack of sunlight they receive on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon for a person to choose where she lives based on the light available in that state. Light affects everything.
More than a decade ago, former Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court installed a massive granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama State Judicial Building. Two years later it was removed by court order as a violation of the separation of church and state. Shortly thereafter, Justice Moore was also removed by court order from the Alabama State Judicial Building.
The truth can save a country, but the lack of truth can destroy a country.
Inner Vision Yoga will host a labor and birth workshop on Aug. 10 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at 1949 W. Ray Road, Chandler.
The group behind a vetoed religious freedom law intends to study Monday's Supreme Court ruling as a chance to revamp it and try again next year.
I received a mystery package recently, opened it up, and discovered a popular appetite suppressant inside. Sprinkle this magic powder on your food, the included literature instructed, and allegedly it would cooperate with your sense of smell to curb your cravings. And here it was in my hands — a whole box of the stuff. But I didn’t order it.
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Sameer Sarmast leaves the house each day with his wallet, his keys and... dates.
Claiming new evidence of a pattern of misconduct, Attorney General Tom Horne on Tuesday asked a federal judge to dissolve the police department that patrols the polygamous twin communities of Colorado City and Hildale, Utah.
Gov. Jan Brewer said it may be time to consider extending the state's civil rights laws to gays.
The Torah is the soul of the Jewish people. It is our sacred story, written on a scroll and in our hearts. The Torah, or Five Books of Moses, binds the Jewish people together across place and time. It tells a tale so massive, so all-encompassing, every Jewish person finds him or herself within it.
“Our Father.” Only two words, and yet, if we learned to pray these words as Jesus instructed, our lives would be radically transformed. In Jesus’ day it was not uncommon to address God as Father; this wasn’t new. But Jesus made this way of speaking to and thinking about God, normative. “Father,” in Jesus’ view, should be the customary interpretation of God.
My grandmother always set a beautiful Passover table. The linen was crisp and the glasses sparkled. A plate of matzoh, unleavened bread, covered with an embroidered cloth, graced the table. So did a tray of vegetables reserved for young stomachs. My grandfather presided over the service from the head of the table, with Gramma at the other end, close to the kitchen. In the center of the table sat the seder plate with its crimson and gold border, and in its centre, at the heart of all the finery, sat the shank bone.
“Here I stand! I can do no other,” Martin Luther reportedly said as he stood before the papal commission that was investigating his radical beliefs. Taking a “stand” has been the Protestant rage ever since. We children of the Reformation, and I include myself in that family, just love to tell others what we believe.
Sharing faith, in Christian terms, is known as “evangelism.” This is the English rendering of a Greek word meaning “to proclaim the good news.” That’s a problem, because the news isn’t always good.
One of the questions I have found myself asking lately to my friends, neighbors and colleagues is, “Where are you going on vacation this summer?” A lot of the responses I have received go like this: “Gotta beat the heat, we’re headed to Newport Beach,” or “It’s our year to go to Hawaii!” No matter where you go this summer on vacation, ask yourself, “How can my summer vacation be a chance to grow in my faith?”
When my wife insisted that I accompany her to the gym I thought it was a good idea. She had been pressing me about it for some time, and combined with my recent lipid readings I finally relented and agreed to go.
“I come before you to stand behind you to tell you something I know nothing about.”