Tag  |  the-cross

A Humble God

Gaius Octavius became the first Roman emperor by working behind the scenes to consolidate his power. He changed his name to Gauis Julius Caesar Octavianus, after his adoptive father, and then promoted the idea of Caesars (Roman emperors) being divine—allowing him to be considered the son of a god. Eventually, Octavius took the title of Augustus Caesar—sole ruler of Rome—whose spirit was deemed worthy of worship by his people.

Something More Powerful

When France’s ministry of health realized that 17.8 percent of French women smoked while pregnant, they came up with a plan. For a trial period of thirty-six months, seventeen French hospitals paid women up to 300 euros to stop smoking during their pregnancies. Of the 612 participants, 22.5 percent of the women gave up their cigarettes.

Jesus Stayed Here

Raffles Hotel in Singapore is a legendary 5-star hotel that boasts a long list of distinguished former guests, including King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and the King of Pop Music—Michael Jackson. Immortalized by writers like Rudyard Kipling and Ernest Hemingway, there are suites named after personalities who were associated with the hotel: Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Joseph Conrad, Noel Coward, Pablo Neruda, and W. Somerset Maugham, who is reputed to have spent his days writing at the hotel.

freely given, but costly

If you have the cash, you can buy almost anything you want. According to Michael Sandel, author of What Money Can’t Buy, a person can purchase access to the car pool lane while driving alone for $8, a prison-cell upgrade for $90 a night, an amusement park Front of the Line Pass for $149, your doctor’s cell phone number for $1,500, and the right to shoot an endangered black rhino for $250,000. Yes, if you have the money, you can buy almost anything . . .

plastic soldiers and HVAs

Our two young boys wanted a nativity set, so we got a small one to place in their room. One night my wife went to tuck them in bed, only to find that Liam (age 5) had posted little plastic soldiers to guard the nativity. “They’re making sure baby Jesus is safe,” he announced.

broken for tim?

While away from home on a lengthy work assignment, I attended a church quite different from my one back home. For instance, my adopted church observed communion (the Lord’s Supper) every time they met. Instead of the pastor or elders serving, ordinary members of the church shared responsibility for distributing the bread and wine.

mistaken identity

Although we’re 5 years apart, people often confuse me with my older sister. From the staff at my favorite coffee shop to my sister’s nursing students, we have many stories of people who try to ask me a medical question or who talk to her about writing. The mix-up seems humorous to us, because we don’t see the similarities that others view so clearly.

you choose Q: why do we have to go through the sanctification process?

Q: When we have received Christ as our Savior, why are we not transformed into all He is right away? Why do we have to go through the sanctification process that takes time, energy, and pain?  —CC

A: We suffer because we’re called to bear the cross of Christ (Matthew 16:24). We are creatures of flesh and instinct that are undergoing…

the bedrock

Our recent move to the country has been an adventure in many ways. The stars are amazing in the open sky, bugs and spiders exist in abundance, and well water tastes pretty good. Recently, my son’s friend was visiting from the suburbs and we explained to him how our well works. My husband and I both paused as we considered how it symbolized a spiritual truth. The work crew had drilled down deep into the ground through the bedrock and didn’t stop until they reached water.

the Trinity

Today, some churches will observe Trinity Sunday as a way to remember and honor the Holy Trinity—our triune God consisting of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three, and yet one God. The word Trinity is not found in the Bible. But the New Testament reveals a triune God (Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19; John 14:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Corinthians 12:3-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 3:14; Hebrews 10:29; 1 Peter 1:2).

love that dies

Renowned Christian writer Dallas Willard wrote: “The aim of God in history is the creation of an all-inclusive community of loving persons, with Himself included in that community as its prime sustainer and most glorious inhabitant.” Marriage is one way God continues to create this community.

the fruit of suffering

How are you doing now?” my friend asked as we walked down the path. The last time Adrian and I had spoken, I had told him that my wife and I were not able to have children and the pain this had brought us.

true salvation

What must one do to be saved? For the answer, turn to the book of Galatians. The problem that arose in the churches in Galatia remains a question that many Christians battle with today. Are we truly saved by our belief in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for us, or is something more necessary on our part?

looking beyond calvary

The Mount Grace Priory in North Yorkshire is one of England’s best-preserved medieval monasteries. For hundreds of years, Carthusian monks lived there in solitude, devoting themselves to prayer. The priory’s ruins are impressive, but a more modern monument caught my attention on a recent visit to the site.

sent

Brother Colm O’Connell, an Irish priest, went to Kenya in 1976 to volunteer for one year as a teacher at St. Patrick’s school. Thirty-six years later, he’s still there, and has established an internationally acclaimed running program. The school has provided 5 Olympic champions and 25 world champions, most recently David Rudisha in the 800 meters at the London Olympics. Each St. Patrick’s runner enters the field knowing they have been sent like the ones before them.