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[Cfamily]The Christian & Culture: Three Ways to Engage with Your Neighbor
« Reply #448 on: January 28, 2017, 07:04:50 PM »

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The Christian & Culture: Three Ways to Engage with Your Neighbor

The Great Commandment and the Golden Rule make us better listeners.

One of the things I enjoy doing is following politics and public discourse. I think it’s important for all of us to stay in the loop on what is happening in the world and in American life. More than that, however, I think it’s important to engage in these things. But it’s an understatement to say that much of what happens in public discourse is less than pretty. Unfortunately, this often includes Christians.

The last several U.S. Presidential elections have revealed the division in our culture. The amount of true discussion and debate over the issues of greatest importance has taken a back seat to well-crafted one-liners delivered at just the right time for maximum rhetorical impact. A lot of time is spent talking past each other instead of listening to each other.

But this goes beyond politics. I have seen an increasing entrenchment in our views and a vilification of people with other views. When this is the case, we are not going to work together. How do we dialogue for the common good and with the goal of solutions? I don’t hear a lot of people talking about that.

Sure, Evangelicals have many problems with where culture is going, and rightly so. But we aren’t getting far with the culture in our discourse with them. Why? I think the answer is engagement. In my book, Subversive Kingdom, I argue that we shouldn’t be about control. Rather, we should be seeking to live as agents of the kingdom who are showing and sharing the love of Christ to a world that’s hurting. But how do we get to that place of engagement?

Let me list three simple and biblical ways to wisely engage with our neighbors and our culture, regardless of how difficult an issue may be.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

First, ...

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Source: The Christian & Culture: Three Ways to Engage with Your Neighbor

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[Cfamily]Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban
« Reply #449 on: January 29, 2017, 07:14:49 PM »
Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban

World Relief and other major ministries argue that compassion and security are not opposing forces.

Despite previous plans to admit the highest number of refugees in decades, the United States will shut its doors to thousands displaced by conflict in the Middle East—at least temporarily—under an executive order President Donald Trump signed Friday.

Christian aid groups responsible for resettlement mourned and criticized the president’s decision to stop accepting any refugees into the United States for the next four months. The order puts an indefinite ban on refugees coming from Syria and a month-long pause on anyone entering America from a handful of Muslim-majority nations.

“Our concern is that this action really does further traumatize a group of people that have already borne so much tragedy,” said Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, one of nine agencies that partner with the federal government to resettle refugees. “The human toll is really crushing.”

World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), took on about 11,000 cases last year—a record high since 1999—and had almost 1,200 churches volunteer to help.

The United States had been on track to meet the Obama administration’s goal of resettling 110,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017—the highest goal since 1995, the Pew Research Center reported. Trump’s administration is expected to halve that goal to 50,000.

The executive order, part of Trump’s campaign promise to crackdown on immigration, targets seven Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.

Syria, where ISIS violence has displaced more than a million residents, was the No. 2 country of origin among the nearly 85,000 refugees the United States admitted last year. ...

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Source: Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban

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Re: [Cfamily]Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban
« Reply #450 on: January 29, 2017, 09:55:27 PM »
Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban

<p class="deck">World Relief and other major ministries argue that compassion and security are not opposing forces.</p>

<p class="text">Despite previous plans to admit the highest number of refugees in decades, the United States will shut its doors to thousands displaced by conflict in the Middle East?at least temporarily?under an executive order President Donald Trump signed Friday.</p>

<p class="text">Christian aid groups responsible for resettlement mourned and criticized the president?s <a href="" target="_bla

Most international Christian organisations have completely and blindly bought into the New World Order.
Disturb us Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us Lord, to dare more boldly. To venture on wider seas. Where storms will show your mastery; Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope and love.                     (SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 1577)


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[Cfamily]Dear Fellow Christians: It's Time to Speak Up for Refugees
« Reply #451 on: January 30, 2017, 07:04:58 PM »
Dear Fellow Christians: It's Time to Speak Up for Refugees

If we are pro-life, we are pro-refugee.

bYesterday was a critical day for U.S. relations with the world. When Candidate Donald Trump promised to overhaul immigration policies, it seemed like a long shot for many of us. But we are now seeing it unfold before our eyes. As I wrote in an article in the Washington Post:


Several drafts have been leaked of “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals.” One draft copy, now widely distributed (and reported on here in the Washington Post), is eight pages long and puts many new policies in place, most notably a 120-day moratorium on the Refugee Admissions Program, a dramatic cut of the overall number of refugees allowed into the U.S. this year, and an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria, with the suggestion that refugees from additional countries will also likely be barred.

If this draft becomes policy, this unnecessary ban should concern us. But does it concern us? Will we speak up at all?

Several Christian leaders have spoken out already, as reported in Christianity Today:


Advocates for refugees point out that the massive and chaotic flow of refugees into Europe doesn’t compare to the smaller and more rigorous process in the United States, where government agencies vet candidates before approval.


“Most refugees from the Middle East are women and children who have suffered the assaults of ISIS terrorists and civil war,” said NAE president Leith Anderson, in a statement opposing Trump’s impending order. “We have the opportunity to rescue, help, and bless some of the world’s most oppressed and vulnerable families.”

Caution is Wise

It is not wrong to be wise and cautious. And part of President Trump’s plan is, I think, wise. For example, his call ...

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Source: Dear Fellow Christians: It's Time to Speak Up for Refugees

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[Cfamily]What the Hygge Trend Tells Me About True Comfort
« Reply #452 on: January 31, 2017, 07:18:33 PM »
What the Hygge Trend Tells Me About True Comfort

I like warm socks, coffee, and a cozy fire. But real, sustainable self-care involves something unexpected.

I, like so many, am pretty good at self-care: I love bubble baths, magazines, drinking coffee, and reading good books. But even my skills in this area could not prepare me for the month I just endured. The city I live in, Portland, Oregon, just came through the most miserable four weeks that any of us can remember. Being surrounded by sleet, freezing rain, ice, and snow for the past month has made me well aware of how the winter season intensifies my desire to be comfortable.

Is it any wonder, then, that people from Nordic traditions (with their long, long winters) have identified and capitalized on the same need for comfort? The popular Danish word hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) roughly translates as “cozy” and “seeking comfort.” Chances are, you have seen this word hashtagged on an Instagram post, often accompanied by a picture of coffee, socks, a warm fire, knitting needles, and a book or two.

Hygge has taken the popular imagination by storm, and now I find myself inundated with messages for how to create a more comfortable life for myself. In 2017—following a year that exposed the deep racial and class divisions in America—this philosophy of comfort has given me pause. How should I, as a Christian in this particular moment in history, view a seemingly innocuous longing for coziness?

America is markedly different from the Nordic cultures in which hygge has been cultivated. Traditionally, hygge is understood as “comfort in moderation”—for example, having one cookie to ensure others get one, as well. But we Americans don’t tend to do moderation very well. TIME magazine recently identified how hygge is being increasingly marketed for consumption. This means ...

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Source: What the Hygge Trend Tells Me About True Comfort

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[Cfamily]‘Paterson’ Richly Rewards the Watchful
« Reply #453 on: February 01, 2017, 07:05:33 PM »
‘Paterson’ Richly Rewards the Watchful

So much depends upon a bus driver, carefully attentive, writing poetry in Paterson, NJ.

To tell you about this movie, I need to tell you about my wife.

Sometimes, lying awake at night, side by side, Anne and I listen to our neighborhood. Traffic becomes the ocean, waves breaking on a beach. Wind in the evergreens is the roar of a crowd. Fire trucks: trumpeting elephants that charge from the circus tent of the fire station next door. Anne’s favorite is the rush of the midnight street sweeper. She has written poems about the driver’s rumbling reverie, out there “tracing the bones of the city.”

Anne’s attentiveness to poetry is what drew us together in the first place. I strive to learn from her compulsion. Like the angels in Wim Wenders’s film Wings of Desire, she carries empty journals with her into her days and fills them with glimpses of the extraordinary in the ordinary. Her patient watchfulness quiets my fears and helps me hear the still, small voice of the Spirit.

That’s why Paterson, Jim Jarmusch’s meditative new comedy, feels so necessary, essential—even medicinal for me.

Movies about poets are a hard sell. Perhaps I can get moviegoers’ attention by telling them that the movie’s lanky leading man, Adam Driver, is the same guy who threw spectacular tantrums as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (He’s also onscreen this month as a brave and emaciated missionary in Martin Scorsese’s masterful Silence.) But here, Driver’s a driver, steering a bus around Paterson, New Jersey, the town that shares his name and wins his heart. His bus is non-articulated, but he’s as articulate as they come.

The movie’s heartbeat is our driver’s creative process—his line-by-line composition as he makes his introspective ...

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Source: ‘Paterson’ Richly Rewards the Watchful

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[Cfamily]Henri Nouwen’s Weakness Was His Strength
« Reply #454 on: February 02, 2017, 07:00:22 PM »
Henri Nouwen’s Weakness Was His Strength

How a gifted, high-achieving spiritual guide learned to share his wounds with others.

Over 30 years ago, a Catholic priest and sought-after spiritual guide wrote the following in a letter to an inquirer: “I have been increasingly aware that true healing mostly takes place through the sharing of weakness.” Pressing beyond generalities, he made his reply personal: “[I]n the sharing of my weakness with others, the real depths of my human brokenness and weakness and sinfulness started to reveal itself to me, not as a source of despair but as a source of hope.”

For us today, in the era of self-help gurus, the priest’s words may sound like a truism whose luster has grown dull with over-familiarity. Or—worse—they might be misconstrued as an encouragement to wallow in our wounds, to valorize our frailty as somehow redemptive in and of itself. Is there any reason, then, to treat this letter as an instance of spiritual insight?

Inner Wounds

The priest who wrote it was named Henri Nouwen, and almost a decade before, in 1972, as a newly minted instructor at Yale Divinity School, he had published a book titled The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society. It was to become, according to most of his ecumenical readership, Nouwen’s signature title. Before Brené Brown appeared on the TED stage, before spiritual counseling and small group ministry in evangelical parachurch ministries had encouraged believers to disclose more of their doubts and insecurities, before movements like the charismatic Cursillo and the contemplative Taizé and Renovaré had gone mainstream, Nouwen was already advocating a spirituality that took its cue from Christ’s nail-scarred risen body. Any spirituality and ministry we might hope to cultivate should be one that’s ...

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Source: Henri Nouwen’s Weakness Was His Strength

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[Cfamily]Trump's Supreme Court Pick: Religious Freedom Defender Neil Gorsuch
« Reply #455 on: February 03, 2017, 07:04:19 PM »
Trump's Supreme Court Pick: Religious Freedom Defender Neil Gorsuch

Scholarly Denver judge who ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby would fill Scalia's seat as the court's only Protestant.

President Donald Trump named Neil Gorsuch, a conservative, Ivy League-educated federal judge known for his way with words and defenses of religious freedom, as his Supreme Court nominee during a live broadcast Tuesday night.

A favorite pick among Christian conservatives, Gorsuch fulfills Trump’s promise to select a judge that “evangelicals, Christians will love” and who also stands a solid chance of scoring Senate approval. (Gorsuch’s federal appointment by President George W. Bush in 2006 was uncontroversial.)

“Judge Gorsuch’s combination of intellectual horsepower and work ethic has enabled him to excel academically at the world’s best universities, become a first-rate lawyer and judge, and develop remarkable verbal abilities,” said Robert Pushaw, a constitutional law expert and professor at Pepperdine University School of Law.

An Episcopalian, Gorsuch accepted what he called “a most solemn assignment,” remarking “I am so thankful for my family, my friends, and my faith. These are the things that keep me grounded in life’s peaks and sustain me in its valleys.” If confirmed, Gorsuch would become the high court’s only Protestant justice.

Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore joined 60 evangelical leaders who signed a letter in support of Gorsuch and his judicial philosophy. Moore tweeted that he hoped Trump would select the Denver judge and applauded the appointment:

His career is one that exemplifies the very best of intellectually robust conservatism, judicial restraint and faithfulness to the Constitution…. I look forward to Judge Gorsuch's voice on the court for decades to come and pray ...

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Source: Trump's Supreme Court Pick: Religious Freedom Defender Neil Gorsuch

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