And Heaven Was Opened

  United Methodist pastor Adam Hamilton tells this story: “A woman in my congregation, after years of fertility treatments, finally conceived. She and her husband were filled with joy. But early in the pregnancy she became extremely ill. By her fifth month, doctors informed her that if she continued to...

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The Grasshoppers of Life

  Read Joel 2:1-2; 12-17  My dad grew up in a Texas sharecropper’s shack during the Great Depression. He was barely a teenager when the “Grasshopper Wars” began. The winged insects darkened the sky like storm clouds, swooping down on crops and stripping them to stubble. Driving turned dangerous as the...

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Expect, Embrace, Exclaim!

  Forget the groundhog. Today is Candlemas, a celebration in Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches. Traditions include blessing and lighting candles, making crepes and taking down any remaining Christmas decorations (see, you’re not late, after all!). But Candlemas also marks a biblical observance–the 40 days after Jesus was born and presented...

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Can I Get an ‘Amen?’

  I made someone mad recently. No, it wasn’t my wife, but that’s a good guess. The person I ticked off was on Twitter. I don’t even know this person, but he took exception to a story link I posted on Ferguson, Missouri. Just before Thanksgiving, chaplains from the Billy...

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The All-the-Way Plunge

  Faith is like swimming. Some Christians are divers. They totally commit themselves to the water. Others walk out until their ankles are covered, then their knees. Next they rub water on their arms, and slowly lower themselves all the way in, splash around for a short time and return...

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Je Suis Charlie

  Je suis Charlie. These three words–which translate as “I Am Charlie”–have become a global rally-cry after the recent terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. I admit that I had never heard of the magazine until now. After viewing some of their cartoons, which not only mock Mohammed...

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A Symphony of Epiphany

  Hey, Christmas isn’t over yet! Today marks the “Twelfth Day of Christmas,” or Epiphany Day. In popular culture, Christmas is about a sweet little baby in a manger, but Epiphany reminds us of the bigger picture, the “appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). For many God...

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Ring Out the Old, Ring in the Weird

  While many Americans will ring in the new year with a toast and kiss, people from other countries will celebrate a tad differently. Some will throw dishes and others will don loud undies. Here’s ten odd New Year’s traditions from around the world, including one from the good ol’...

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