Christianity, The Most Persecuted Religion?

Christianity PersecutedAn interesting article from the Huffington Post of all places:

The Most Persecuted Religion In The World

Some of you will find this very surprising.

[Image: Persecution of John the Apostle via Art History Images (Holly Hayes) Creative Commons]

Love Like Jesus–Hope for those of us who can’t raise people from the dead: Matthew 8:5-13

Love Like Jesus Help Like Jesus Helped

[Image via betsyweber – Creative Commons] [To see the previous Love Like Jesus post, go to Trading Recognition for God’s Glory]

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” –Matthew 8:5-8, 13

How Jesus Loved People

Jesus loved people by doing for them, what they couldn’t do for themselves.

Love Like Jesus

So you want to live and love like Jesus did. So you can please God, and you can be someone who attracts people to Jesus, and hopefully glorify God’s name. But when you study the life of Christ, you think to yourself, “Ha, what chance do I have? Jesus, without coming anywhere near the centurion’s servant, healed him of his paralysis. Even a great doctor couldn’t do that, and I’m not a doctor–I’ve never even played one on TV. Jesus made the blind see and the deaf hear. Jesus cast out demons. Jesus even raised people from the dead! What chance do I have to live and love like Jesus?”

Hope For Those Of Us Who Can’t Raise People From The Dead Continue reading

The Consequences of Calling Your Own Shots–Genesis 49:29

God and selfishness

Jacob said: “I am about to be gathered to my people.” -Genesis 49:29

Jacob was about to die. He found himself in the same position every single one of us will find ourselves. Jacob was about to be gathered to his people.

And of course, so will you. The question is: Where are your people gathered?

I Have A Confession

I have a confession to make. I have this tendency–I tend to change my worldview to accommodate my own selfishness. Reflecting back I realize I had a desire for personal glory in a variety of arenas. At various times those areas in which I sought my own honor included work, running, hang gliding, and basketball–to name a few. At my core, Continue reading

Love Like Jesus–Trading Recognition for God’s Glory: Matthew 8:3-4

Love Like Jesus God's Glory Recognition

Image via: dichohecho — Creative Commons

“Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone.” -Matthew 8:3-4

How Jesus Loved People:

Jesus healed the man with leprosy, then he told him in no uncertain terms, “See that you don’t tell anyone.”

How To Love Like Jesus:

Wow, is this the opposite of me or what! My human tendency is to want credit for what I do. One afternoon during a family gathering, Kathy was sharing with the female contingent of the Bennett clan, how I had done something nice for her on a recent Saturday morning:

“He brought me coffee in bed,” she said.

I, sitting nearby with the male contingent of the Bennett clan, happened to overhear. “Boy,” I thought to myself, Continue reading

Slavery, Love, and the Garden of Eden–Genesis 2:8-9

Slavery Love Garden of Eden

(From the Archives…)

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8-9

The Garden

A little trivia to start: The Bible tells us that the land in which God’s garden is located is called Eden, however we are never actually given the name of the garden itself, only the name of the land in which it is located. But one thing’s for sure, the word Eden means delightful, and we do know from the Bible that without a doubt, whatever the name of the garden, God’s garden was a delightful place to live.

Notice that in the middle of His garden God puts both the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “Why?” You may be asking. “Why include the forbidden tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in the middle of the delightful garden? Why ruin a perfect place with a forbidden tree?” The answer is that God desired a meaningful relationship with Adam and Eve, and a meaningful relationship requires a choice.

Marriage and Slavery

Hadijatou Mani is a 24 year old woman from the Sahel region of Nigeria, on the Southern fringe of the Sahara. Hadijatou’s story is the story of someone who wasn’t given a choice. When she was just 12 years old she was sold to a man named Souleymane Naroua. When she was just 13 she was raped by her master and forced to bear his children. Continue reading