No Joke

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no-jokeNo Joke

by Jim Henderson and Cara Highsmith

At a small group meeting recently I told a group of people from our church about the imam, rabbi, and pastor from Peoria.  “Sounds like a joke,” said one of our group members.  It does sound like a joke!

But it’s not.  These three men from Peoria are real, honest-to-goodness friends.  And Jim Henderson is helping them take their wonderful story public.  It’s a story we all need to hear because of the rancor, fear, and division we’ve all experienced in the past year. Continue reading

Personal Pronouns

personal-prounounsMy editor asked me to rewrite the piece I was working on, using no personal pronouns. It seemed like an impossible request.

Everything I do has some sort of personal reference.  When I get in my car I am thinking about where I want to go.  Or, when eating, what will taste good to me.  Or, when speaking, whether I will receive accolades from those listening. Continue reading

Living with the Lord’s Prayer

prayer_handsI grew up being taught that the Lord’s Prayer was irrelevant to the lives of contemporary Christians because the Kingdom, for which Jesus prays, was now present in the church.  Why pray for something that already exists?  Right?

So much of my life I missed out on the benefits of living inside the world of Jesus’ concerns and requests of God.  It wasn’t until the last several years that the Prayer became a daily part of my life. Continue reading

Kingdom of God

marine-litterI didn’t grow up inside a culture of respect for the earth.  “Earth” as a totality – flora and fauna, beauty, wildness, and wonder.

In my childhood we used disposable products with abandon; old car oil was often poured out on the ground, and we never considered the impact that disposed plastics would have on our world.  Pesticides caused a decline in bird populations.  Oceans started to become big toilets  where our detritus was flushed when it rained.  And, worst of all, people became as disposable as our throw away products. Continue reading

Who do you trust?

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trusttrust  \trəst\ n 1: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something  2 :  one in which confidence is placed

“Friendship- my definition- is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.” – Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Continue reading

Facebook and Political Discussion – Part 3

integrityIn the 80’s there was a rumor that was going around, principally among churches, that Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the famed atheist, was petitioning the FCC to end religious broadcasting.  People were frantic!

Since there was no Internet in the 1980’s, concerned Christians carried around petitions for churches to fill up with the names of people who didn’t want their 700 Club to go away.  Periodically a new iteration of the petition would circulate. Continue reading

Facebook and Political Discussion – Part 1

the-scream-munchThe last place on earth that a political discussion should occur is on Facebook.

During the last year, I have watched what looks like a slow motion car crash as various people take to the Internet to vent their opinions about this candidate or that candidate.  Seldom is there any courtesy or nobility in the conversation.  It, most often, has a “don’t you get it, stupid” kind of air to it. Continue reading

Xenophobia or Hospitality?

Xenophobia 02The Greek word, xenos, gets a different spin in the New Testament than it does from the lips of Donald Trump or his British mini-me, Nigel Farage.

Xenos is the root of the word, xenophobia, which means fear of anything strange.  It could be a strange food, a strange practice, but in today’s useage it most often refers to a fear of people who are strange to us. Continue reading