I don’t know what sort of regime of shame existed in American culture before I was here. In some people’s telling, everyone thought sex itself was dirty and shameful, and untold secrets were kept. I don’t want to take us back to the good old days that never actually existed, but I think sexual intercourse between unmarried people is still wrong. That’s what “fornication” refers to, if you didn’t know.
Tomorrow being Thanksgiving, chances are good that most of us will in fact pause to give thanks for the many blessings that are undeservedly ours, possibly while surrounded by the aromas of rich and tasty foods. Good for you, and good for us. Perhaps you can pause for a moment and think of the people — there are many of them — for whom a blessing denied them is one we take for granted: a glass of clear, clean water.
The little “issue” at the local church might not seem like a big deal. Sure a few people got hurt and the pastor seemed to overreach a bit, but it all worked out OK, right? Those who left were “troublemakers” and keeping things controlled kept the little issue little, they claim. But the little issues become big ones. I know. I have lived the little church issue that becomes the national news story.
I got your attention, didn’t I? This is not to say that I am its master; I am well aware of my lack. Nevertheless, the secret is plain in front of us. The secret of a good life is thankfulness.
The phrase kept showing up in my social media feed, probably as it has for you. I’ve been busy, so I kept putting off finding out the reason for the latest social media fad, but finally bit: just who is “Brandon” and why is everyone cheering him on? It seemed like everyone was having lighthearted fun… at first.
A noticeable thunderstorm toddled through here a little after noon on Sunday. Nothing surprising there, nor in it taking the power out for most of the rest of the day.
Pastors in my Evangelical circles have been increasingly faced with requests to provide “religious exemption” letters to those in our churches who do not wish to be vaccinated. With the FDA’s final approval of Pfizer’s vaccine, employer mandates will likely become ubiquitous and increase the requests for these letters. Should we give them?
Reeling from the horrors of 9/11 two decades ago, we entered Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist camps and also try to build a better nation for the people who had been caught under the Taliban’s control. Was it hubris or hope to think we could lastingly accomplish either goal? I’ll leave that discussion for another day, but this week has reminded us of how even our greatest powers stumble.
She’s already the greatest gymnast of all time. She could have not come to the Tokyo Olympics at all, and this would be true. The United States was projected to win the team competition by a full point and a half, with Biles at full strength. In a competition normally decided by tenths of a point, this is comically absurd.
Last Friday Pope Francis effectively banned celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, a kind of worship that is unsurpassed in its solemnity and, at its best, in its splendor. In so doing, he flung down and danced upon one of the signal accomplishments of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, and told millions of devout and pious Catholics around the world that the Church is no longer the place for them.