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Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma


Resistance & Renewal

Bono_on_Bono_Cover“It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma…

You see, at the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics – in physical laws – every action is met by an equal or opposite one.  Its clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe.  I’m absolutely sure of it.

And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “As you reap, so will you sow” stuff.  Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news…

View original post 286 more words

The Imam and the Pastor


National Church of Nigeria, Abuja

National Church of Nigeria, Abuja (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Abuja National Mosque

Abuja National Mosque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some friends of ours work with this organization. We’re pretty impressed with their work.

They shared the following DVD with us. Tell me what you think.

St Patrick’s Creed


English: Saint Patrick stained glass window fr...

English: Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a little girl, my mother would urge me to wear the color Orange to school on St. Patrick’s Day in rebellion against all the Green!

Yes, it was in direct protest against the Catholic Irish and in defense of William of Orange, 1650- 1702! I talked with several women in my church today who told me similar stories about their mothers, mostly Presbyterians from times gone by!

Surprisingly, in those days, we never heard about the wonderful stories of the real St. Patrick who was taken as a slave to Ireland, escaped and later returned as a missionary to the Pagans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick

St. Patrick’s Creed:

Our God, God of all mankind,

God of heaven and earth, sea and rivers,

God of sun and moon, of all the stars,

God of high mountains and low valleys,

God over heaven and in heaven and under heaven.

He has a dwelling

In heaven and earth and sea

And in all things that are in them,

He inspires all,

He quickens all,

He is over all,

He supports all.

He makes the light of the sun to shine.

The light of the night and the stars he surrounds,

And he has made wells in the dry earth,

Placed dry islands in the sea,

And stars for the service

Of the greater lights.

He has a Son

Co-eternal with himself, like unto himself;

The Son is not younger than the Father,

Nor the Father older than the Son.

And the Holy Spirit

Breathes in them;

Not separate are the Father

And the son and the Holy Spirit.

Amen

Why the Trinity?


StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Baptism

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Baptism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several days ago, I was reading the story of Jesus being baptized by John Baptist in the book of Matthew, chapter 3.  He writes in vss 16, 17: “At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

My first thoughts after reading went to our Muslim friends who always ask us if we think Jesus is God’s Son. It’s a painful subject and often a conversation stopper or an argument starter because they believe very strongly that Christians worship THREE Gods! WE DON’T, but trying to explain why we believe in ONE God who is Triune is very difficult and inconvenient.

I love and respect our Muslim friends and I understand their passion for the One True God…Allah and His purity, so I want to explain why we also worship ONE God.  But, I’ve never been successful in explaining our beliefs in the Trinity to their satisfaction.

As I understand it, a good many Muslims think we worship God the creator who had sex with Mary thus producing a son, Jesus.  Some believe we worship God, Mary and Jesus. Not True.

Others don’t believe this, but all believe that Jesus is NOT God’s Son.

And who can blame them? If we’re honest, it’s difficult for us Christians to understand much less explain.

That’s why I’m posting this article from Christianity Today about the Trinity, “Three is the Loveliest Number”. It may not persuade any Muslims, but it provided me with an “epiphany” about Christians (and perhaps why so many in our country expect more of the USA as a once/so-called Christian nation).

Christians are called to be culturally different from other cultures that do not believe in the Trinity.

We are called to a lifestyle of relationship, with God and with others:   Love, forgiveness, gratitude, joy, peace, patience and other qualities that always existed in God’s relationship with His Son are to be in evidence in our daily lives.

What a great challenge to begin the New Year!

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.

Three Is the Loveliest Number | Christianity Today.

Brick by Brick: Our (Own) Worst Enemies: Why Evangelicals Have to be Able to Criticize Each Other


A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It takes courage and wisdom to know when to change our long-held beliefs doesn’t it? There are some that we will never change because we are persuaded from our source text, The Bible, that they are right. Others, like slavery, were once thought to be Biblical, and are now considered false beliefs. But, how do sincere Christians really know how and when to make that leap from one strong belief to the opposite belief?  When should we allow peers and culture to influence us?

These questions are best asked in a community of people who think somewhat differently, while valuing and respecting the principles upon which each person bases his/her life.

Questions need to be asked and that is why I think I related to the dilemma posted by David Williams of Inter-Varsity in North Carolina, on his blog “Brick by Brick”. (Read below)

I’ve had people ask me if I didn’t “like” the Church when I’ve spoken up about some of the weaknesses I see in the Body of Christ.

Some of my Christian friends have been hurt when I’ve made negative comments about people who claim to be Christians and then speak out politically in ways that deny the words of Christ.

I try to look for the inconsistency in my life before I criticize other people, but it’s easy to over look things because of stubbornness and pride. That’s why I usually learn from other people’s criticism even when I might not seem to listen at first.

Hopefully.

 Our (Own) Worst Enemies: Why Evangelicals Have to be Able to Criticize Each Other Brick by Brick

Points of Light


Each Christmas season we hang a star exactly like the one in the picture outside on our porch. At the end off each point is a tiny hole where the light shines through. It’s at it’s best if there are no other lights visible around it. We usually keep it burning all night long through the Christmas season. It is especially stunning on the darkest nights.

Moravian Star

Moravian Star (Photo credit: Urban Sea Star)

When our students have asked us its significance we’ve explained that it is a “Moravian Star”, a symbol of the Moravians who took Jesus’ Love to all points of the earth. Each point of the star represents the light of His love.

When I began writing this blog three years ago I wasn’t interested in writing an “inspirational” blog filled with verses and positive advice nor anything remotely home oriented. Nor could I write theology very adeptly.

I was mostly interested in Politics, International Affairs, Justice and Faith and telling the truth about life as I saw it. I imagined reaching into several countries where this particular type of blog might be of interest to someone. Little did I guess how many people might share my interests. At this point I have readers from 123 different countries and every state in the USA.

I am most honored to have readers from countries where I have lived and visited: Indonesia, The Philippines, UK, France, Holland, Singapore, Ecuador, Tunisia, Palestine, and Israel. I’m thrilled that people are reading my blog inside Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria and Syria where I may never visit! I like to think this blog is a bit of a Moravian Star for them, shining into their dark nights!

What a responsibility I feel to shine brightly and wisely.

All in all, over thirteen thousand people have taken a peek at the words written here, reminding me of the responsibility I have before God to represent my faith and beliefs with integrity.

Possibly, one reason people read this blog is to find out one American’s perspective on the happenings in the world.  Perhaps they come here expecting one thing and leave with a little different impression. I’d like to think so.  I love to think that my views might make a difference in someone’s life. Who knows?

Since my faith is very important to me, I usually write about current events through the lens of faith. I suspect this appeals to people who also find faith important. I hope my writing reflects how much I love and honor God and Christ.

I wish I were a better writer, but I write simply and frankly. It may come from many years of living overseas and teaching ESL, trying to make myself understood effectively and efficiently. I have little patience with “wordiness” when I can get to the point immediately.

So,  I want to thank everyone who reads my blog, despite its many shortcomings. You warm my heart and fuel my soul! Please, write in and let me know about yourselves. Thanks!

I wish you rich blessings in the New Year, 2013!

IN GOD WE TRUST القرآن الكريم


Seal of Culpeper County, Virginia

Seal of Culpeper County, Virginia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I saw this on a bumper sticker in Culpeper, VA today.

 

 

 

“In God We Trust

 

 

 

Qur’an 67:29”

 

 

 

What reaction would you expect me to have?

 

 

 

I wonder what many people in predominately Baptist, Culpeper County, VA will have?

 

 

 

Curious isn’t it?

 

 

 

A prominent writer was recently chairing a conference in Europe and says the participants became outraged when he brought God into the conversation. However, afterwards, people came up to him thanking him for the very relevant discussion.

 

 

 

They were Muslims.

 

 

 

Christians and Muslims have more in common than we think.  Members of both faiths love God, though our views of Him are different. We feel no compunction about discussing theology and our beliefs in public. The challenge is to stop competing and arguing with one other and begin dialogue.

 

 

 

What do we have to lose, anyway? We might even gain some friends and influence world history.

 

 

 

Surat Al-Mulk [67:29] – The Noble Qur’an – القرآن الكريم.