- Religion Column
Don't take death lightly with a 'celebration of life'
We are raising our two little boys in a graveyard. To be precise, it's next door to our house, the rectory of the church I serve in Cooperstown. But the graveyard does seem like a simple extension of our home sometimes. Our 2-year-old son sometimes races his trucks across the flat-topped tombs, and the columbarium wall is the backstop when we play ball. We were driving in Virginia a few months ago and passed a large cemetery. "Look Daddy," he cried out. "We're home!"
Dogma, theology can detract from Christ's true message
Here's a stat to make you gasp: By conservative count, the number of separate Christian denominations now exceeds 34,000.
God smiles on certain 'old-fashioned' views
"Old-fashioned" is defined as, "not in accord with or not following current fashion" and "unhip". I'm gladly "unhip" if "hip" means compromising God's standards. Many reject Christ and His moral values, and due to rejecting Christ, sadly face a real hell. That breaks God's heart, and mine too.
Occupy your faith
There sure seems to be a lot of "occupying" in the news of late. Some people have Occupied Wall Street. Others have Occupied San Diego and Oakland in California. Just today, I saw photos of crowds Occupying cities in Germany and in Egypt. Closer to home, there are people Occupying Albany and -- even closer -- there are even some folks (occasionally, anyway) Occupying Oneonta and Otsego County.
Remember souls and saints after putting Halloween costumes away
This week, many denominations celebrate two festivals; all Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2). These days were preceded by a vigil beginning in 1895, and were first reported in North America in 1911 in a Canadian Newspaper.
Overcome everyday fears by putting your trust in God
The Bible says in Proverbs 29:25, "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be secure." Today people are afraid of so many things. As wars are being fought all over the world, it is only natural people should live in such fear. Fear of losing jobs, fear of getting sick, fear of running out of money, fear of what others think of them, fear of not fitting in, fear of terrorists attacks, fear of getting old: all these have contributed to a society where fear overwhelms so many.
Studying the Bible can be transformative
In Romans, Paul urges, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). What keeps us from being transformed in our Bible study? This transformation requires more than intellectual ascent. In my experience there are two keys that foster real transformation in Christ. Without these keys, study can lead to confusion and discouragement. But as Paul also says, "Don't lose heart" (2 Corinthians 4:1, Ephesians 3:13).
God shows compassion through volunteers
We have divergent views, but we must come back together to heal
We are passing through a very difficult time in our history, as a nation and as a community within that nation. Pent up frustration, fear and anger are overwhelming civility in public discourse.
Ten years later, where is the trust in God?
With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 upon us, I'm drawn to words of the Bible in Micah 4:5NIV, "All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we'll walk in the name of the lord our God forever and ever."
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