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Archive for April, 2008

Papal Ponderings

Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States has caused quite a stir in the media and conversation, as the great pontiff came and gave speeches, held meetings, and led services. But how do we as Christians, as Protestants, as Adventists, react to the momentous occasion? When the mass Masses are all said and done, what do we say or think?
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Israel, Jerusalem, Deyanu, Kosher, Shalom

That is the extent of my Jewishness. That is all I know about the culture of my Savior, so it is with great trepidation and a lil’ bit of curiosity that I roll thru’ the stop sign in a hurry to get to the April meeting of ACF which is a Passover Seder. Pesach is the Hebrew word for Passover, a celebration 400 plus years in the making. You see in order to appreciate the festival you have to understand the journey. Remembering that the children of Israel had been aliens and later slaves in Egypt for over 400 years… (more…)

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Allan Martin at the ignitionblog discussing the message behind The Least of These.

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While many may grimace and groan when I mention it (having been force-fed its pages as juniors in high school) Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter remains one of the favorite pieces of literature I’ve ever studied. There was always something so real, so substantial about the character Hester Prynne. Imagine how my ears perked, then, upon hearing the allusion to the novel in the lyrics of Casting Crowns’ song, “Does Anybody Hear Her?”

If you recall, there are actually two people who bear scarlet letters in Hawthorne’s novel (come on, dust those webs off, you remember!). There is Hester Prynne, the woman who wears her scarlet letter upon her chest, and Arthur Dimmesdale, the man who suffers in secret, silently bearing his scarlet letter and the guilt that accompanies it. Both have the same offense, both know the error of their ways. The only difference here is how much of a presence their scarlet letters have in their lives. (more…)

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Pace Domnului

Pace Domnului! The Lord’s peace to you! This, in Romanian, is close to our greeting of “Happy Sabbath”. Today of all days, I think it’s quite appropriate and possibly conveys the true sentiment of this holy day. The Lord’s peace is something that we cannot get from this world. Christ said as much in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Could it be, that yet another aspect of the Sabbath is the presence of God’s mysterious peace (a peace that “passeth all understanding” Philippians 4:7)? (more…)

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ACF Houston is hosting an event here in Houston tomorrow night at the Houston International SDA Church entitled,

The Passover: A Feast of Freedom.

Be on time for dinner at 7:00pm April 11, 2008. Details here.

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I don’t allow myself to do this very often, but recently, I took stock of just how blessed I am in my life. This reflection was initially no gushing to God for all His greatness. In fact, if I just let my mind meander through my most recent history, my knee would certainly not jerk in the direction of a prayer of thanksgiving.

I think that most of the time, giving thanks is something that is done so mindlessly, that I just kind of mumble the words as a guilty lucky charm of some sort. It’s as if I know that I *should* give thanks, and if I don’t, I’ll somehow be struck down by a bolt of God’s frightful anger. Each instance in life, like saying a blessing over some food or breathing a, “Thank you, Jesus,” when I narrowly miss being stuck behind the train, comes with a two switches: default and genuine. Funny enough, my switch is often flipped over to the complacent side.

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