2017 is upon us and the stakes have never been higher. Despite President Obama’s mocking put-down of presidential contender, Mitt Romney’s warning about Russia in 2012 – with his famous, “Governor the 80’s called and want their foreign policy back.” – it does indeed appear that the threat is a real one. Russia is manipulating the Middle-East, Europe and even possibly the US. China is flexing its muscles in the Pacific, and Islamic extremists continue to wreak havoc and instability throughout the world.
The largest source of doctrine and theology during this season comes from the media. Movie after movie and song after song lay claim to the “true” meaning of Christmas. Usually it has something to do with love, hope, family, discovering the real you, or finding joy in simple things.
On Thursday, I plan to share some cool insights into some of the real reasons Jesus came, but right now I thought I would do something a little different.
I am currently working on the tracks for a brand new song that I plan to perform with my girls EVanna and Susan on Christmas Eve at our Candlelight Communion Service. I thought for today’s blog I would give you a sneak peek at the words. I hope you enjoy!
“Learning is easy for you.” I have lost count of how many people have said that to me over the years, but the truth is, I have to work at it like most people. I do not have an Eidetic memory where I remember everything I see, but I have acquired a few skills over the years that help make the process easier and more enjoyable. I have also discovered that almost everyone can learn these skills.
The man we often refer to as the “jolly old elf,” wasn’t always so jolly. There is a real historical moment where Saint Nicholas wasn’t only NOT laughing, he actually became rather belligerent. What could have upset this man known for great generosity and kindness so much, that he would snap?
The year was AD 323 when Constantine – at the height of his power – received a very disturbing letter concerning a dispute that had broken out in the Christian Church. After many years of great suffering and persecution at the hands of Nero, Diocletian and others, the Church had finally found peace and even favor, under the first Christian Emperor. Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus would later write, “for us all was joy and gladness.” The historian Eusebius called the period, “a bright and most profound peace.”
In my last article, I introduced the topic of mental malware and our need to be more observant of the negative self-talk that undermines our lives. If you missed it, you can catch it here. Today, as promised, I am going to offer some practical instructions on how to change our programming from bad code to good. But first, we will take a look at the big picture.
In the cosmic view of things, there is a Designer and a Hacker. The hacker is first seen in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) manipulating and challenging the code the Designer had provided His creation.
I admit it – I’m a geek. Moreover, I was a geek before it was cool to be a geek. I clearly remember many youthful days when my mother would come home from work to find another digital clock, radio or appliance in pieces as I worked to reverse engineer or repair whatever went wrong. Eventually, I even learned how to put them back together and sometimes, I can even repair them.
After obtaining a certificate in electronics and a computer degree, I embarked on more productive efforts in my field of intrigue and began to teach as well. In ministry, I often wished I could fix people as easy as I could repair bad components or buggy code.
As the smoke of a thousand fires ascend toward Heaven, the American Church struggles to find answers to its latest crisis of faith. What does the election of Donald Trump really mean to those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ?
Does this latest political upheaval portend disaster for the causes of justice and racial equality? Does it spark hope for slowing or ending anti-Christian bigotry, transgender bathrooms, and abortion? It would appear that it completely depends on the perspective of the person you ask.