Tag: Christianity

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Previous: Born Again 13: God’s in the Heart-Changing BusinessIt’s time to come clean. What I have not told you — though you may have guessed — is that Sharon and I had briefly been romantically involved, back when this saga began so many years ago. The relationship had crumbled as I realized my girlfriend did […]

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Previous:  Born Again 12: My Husband Thinks I’m Weird   Sharon’s previous letter raises a couple of critical concerns. First, she’s been conditioned to think of the term “born again” as something of a derogatory. Of course, Jesus emphasized the need for spiritual rebirth in very clear terms, and so she’ll need to be able […]

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Previous: Born Again 11: The Jesus Who Lives in Me I was recently accused by some very fine military personnel of being a “dork”, by which they meant I use words and phrases that are … well, dorky. Frankly, I prefer “poetic”, but be that as it may … More

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Previous: Born Again 10: What do You Want?   My sense of excitement over Sharon’s growing enthusiasm and revelations is matched by a sense of uncertainty. Everything is here sitting in a pile: conviction of sin, comprehension of Christ, yearning for salvation … I can’t escape the sense that a gifted evangelist would have brought […]

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Previous: Born Again 9: Jesus Without Religion Sharon’s most recent message begins abruptly, with a somewhat obscure Scripture text: More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. CNN’s Toobin Not Alone in Using COVID-19 to Slam Religious Freedom, Christianity

 

Ancient Rome was not exactly a haven of religious freedom, particularly for a new sect called Christianity. Writing at the end of the second century, Christian apologist Tertullian summed up the situation:

They think the Christians the cause of every public disaster, of every affliction with which the people are visited. If the Tiber rises as high as the city walls, if the Nile does not send its waters up over the fields, if the heavens give no rain, if there is an earthquake, if there is famine or pestilence, straightaway the cry is, “Away with the Christians to the lions!”

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Previous: Born Again 7: I Want it Now As I consider Sharon’s journey toward Christ, two issues are foremost in my mind. First, I need to give her some helpful guidance in how to approach Scripture. Her last note about feeling discouraged and “flipping to a page” reminds me how big and mystifying the Bible […]

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Previous: Born Again 6: The Harsh Truth that Gets in Your Guts Sharon’s notes are beginning to reflect a growing and palpable hunger for God’s Word. One thing I’ve always found energizing about emerging believers is their sense of wonder and discovery at those things we stagnant mature Christians take for granted: More

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Previous:  Born Again 5: I’m Constantly Battling with Him Sharon has provided me every possible clue that she’s ready to hear the unvarnished gospel truth. She’s not holding back. Meanwhile, I’ve recently been spending time reading through Hebrews, a New Testament book full of both grave warnings and wonderful encouragements. This can’t be a coincidence. […]

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Previous: Born Again 4: He Rewards Those Who Earnestly Seek Him Three hundred lives of men I have walked this earth and now I have no time. — Gandalf the Grey More

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Previous: Born Again 3: I’m Just an Emotional Wreck! Sharon’s last emotional letter came at the end of a long day at work. She has a way of opening up so many doors at once that I feel overwhelmed. How on earth can I compose a response in the few minutes I have to spare? Yet […]

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Previous: Born Again 2: Assurance and the Quest for Inner Peace I mentioned at the beginning of my last post that I was nervous about how Sharon would reply to my previous e-mail, but perhaps not as much as might have been. In truth, I’ve hedged my bets a little. Frankly, I don’t know exactly where to […]

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Previous: Born Again 1: A Letter from Sharon I feel simultaneously blessed and burdened by Sharon’s opening move. Of all people she has turned to me. Someone she has now seen exactly once in 25 years. Someone who had previously best resembled an evangelistic bull lumbering through her emotional china shop. Her present vulnerability daunts […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Born Again 1: A Letter from Sharon

 

The e-mail is titled simply: “A letter from Sharon“. It begins a bit ominously:

Hi! I wrote the following letter last week and contemplated as to whether to send it to you or not. The desire to send it to you didn’t go away, so here it is. Please don’t be mad.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Last Supper and Defiant Desires

 

In his homily today, Father Joseph Mary of EWTN noted that at Christ’s last supper only Judas the betrayer addresses Jesus as “Rabbi” — Teacher. The other apostles address Jesus as Lord.

It’s an amazing moment. Was Judas the Iscariot not with them in the boat when Christ calmed the storm and walked on water? How many miraculous healings, exorcisms, and resuscitations did Judas witness?

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Again, Christians begin Holy Week. Beginning with remembrance of Christ’s humble entry into Jerusalem, ending with God’s submission to crucifixion and His triumph over death, we review the heart of revelation. On Christmas, we celebrate in awe that God became Man to more intimately join His creation. On Easter, we understand more fully why the […]

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I’m trying to spread a little positivity, so here are ten things I’m thankful for during this crazy time: The Bible and prayer Extra time to spend with my family Technology to stay in touch with friends and participate in church activities Coffee Time to focus on my goals and plans Blankets and comfy clothes […]

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Married people or even anyone who has shared a romantic connection might have occasionally wondered: “Why can others not see what I see in this person? Why are they not thrilled and impressed as I am?” Everyone experiences something similar when trying and failing to share any focus of joy. From music and stories to […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Never Say Never

 

I think everyone must have their own “never say never” story, and this is mine. 

I have been involved with my church’s 20s/30s singles group for quite a few years now, and something we’ve done for a long time is discipleship groups (or d-groups). These are small gender-specific groups that meet during the week, usually at someone’s house, for deeper fellowship and Bible study. I really enjoy d-groups and signed up for one right away. But after I had been a member of a d-group a couple of times, our leader, Kelly, started asking me to think about leading or co-leading one. 

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Satan, Theologian

 

Today, we hear again of Christ’s temptation by Satan in the desert. Note what occurs in the second temptation:

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,

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