Daily Archives: May 18, 2014

(NBC) A Heartwarming Piece–Beyond Their Music: Rascal Flatts Helping Sick Kids

If you’re like me and you have young kids, you may have first discovered the band Rascal Flatts when they were featured in the kid-classic movie “Cars.” Their song, “Life is a Highway” played on an endless loop in our house as my son watched that movie over”¦ and over”¦ and over again.

The kids at Children’s Hospital know that song, too. So when Rascal Flatts comes to visit, they sing along to the words. Zoey is too little to mouth the words, but she danced in her mom Tori’s lap.

And, the thing is, Rascal Flatts comes by often. They give impromptu concerts for the children not because they have to, but because they want to. Read it all and please take the time to see the [short] video also.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Health & Medicine, Music, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

Needtobreathe "The Heart" [Official Video]

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Music, Religion & Culture

A Local Paper article on the Christian group Needtobreathe

…along the way, the brothers’ healthy competition morphed, turned bitter and self-absorbed, and nearly destroyed their musical relationship – and their bond as brothers.

After releasing four studio albums and reaching enviable success, the Rinehart brothers, those scribes of lyrics about faith and love and purpose, barely spoke to one another.

Yet, a song lingering in their tomorrows, one called “Wasteland,” later would tell the struggle of grown men finding their ways as husbands, musicians – and brothers.

I’m the first one in line to die

When the cavalry comes

Yeah it feels like the great divide

Has already come

Yeah I’m wasting my way through days

losing youth along the way.Read it all and you may find more on their website here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Music, Religion & Culture

(Project Syndicate) Michael Mandelbaum on Narendra Modi's Challenges as he begins

Modi’s new government cannot ”“ indeed, must not ”“ abolish the democratic rules that permit minorities to flourish. With its various ethnic groups, religions, castes, and 30 languages used by more than a million native speakers each (and another 105 spoken by at least 10,000 people), India is more culturally diverse than the entire European Union ”“ but with twice as many people. Without the emphasis on compromise, peaceful dispute resolution, and minority rights inherent to democracy, a united India could not exist.

So Modi’s challenge is to overcome the obstacles to growth-promoting polices using democratic methods. Here, the election has brought good news: the growing strength of India’s growing middle class, a potent ally in the cause of pursuing the needed economic reforms.

That middle class consists of propertied, salaried people, many of them young, who see government as an impersonal enforcer of the law and a neutral arbiter of disputes, rather than as a source of funds and favors. The votes of such people helped Modi win the election. His success in office will depend on how well he can harness the power of the middle class to overcome the political obstacles to the economic growth that its members demand.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, India, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Theology

After the ACA, Worries about Financial problems for hospitals treating large #s of Medicaid Patients

Previous studies suggest that many people will use the new coverage to obtain medical care for conditions that went untreated while they were uninsured.

The new health law reduces special payments to hospitals serving large numbers of low-income patients, on the assumption that many of the uninsured will gain coverage through Medicaid.

But hospital executives are unsure that the savings will materialize. Dr. Campbell said the cuts could create serious financial problems for hospitals treating large numbers of Medicaid patients.

Recent research in other states has raised similar questions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Aging / the Elderly, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Medicaid, Politics in General, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

The Diocese of London Calls for a Week of Prayer after Pentecost 2014

I am grateful to 24-7 Prayer who are again setting up and hosting a prayer space inside the Cathedral during the day time. 24-7 Prayer are also providing online booking facilities for one-hour sessions either in the Cathedral during the day time or for local prayer across the Diocese during the evening and night to ensure that we cover every hour of the week.

I ask you all to join with others across this Diocese and beyond in this great wave of prayer, for I am convinced that there is nothing that is impossible for a Church that is confident, compassionate and creative in the power of the Spirit and in union with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Urban/City Life and Issues

(Telegraph) Curse of the Internet age: lies spread faster than truth, says Rowan Williams

The rise of the Internet means that lies and misunderstanding now spread around the world faster than the truth, Lord Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has warned.

An increasing reliance on instant communications, effectively means that people should expect their words to be routinely misinterpreted, he said.

It has also changed the way people communicate, making it less and less common for people to be able to see those they are talking to, he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Rowan Williams, --Social Networking, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Media, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(NYT On Religion) Humanist Foundation Reaches Out to Religious Groups, Testing a Divide

Six months after starting a humanist charity in 2010, Dale McGowan unveiled a philanthropist’s version of a beta test. He already offered donors to his organization, the Foundation Beyond Belief, the opportunity to designate their gifts for groups that worked in fields like refugee aid and environmentalism. Then, in an contrarian brainstorm, he decided to try adding a category for progressive religious bodies.

He thought he had found the perfect test case with Quaker Peace and Social Witness, part of the British branch of the Society of Friends. Here was a nondogmatic denomination with a longstanding commitment to pacifism, racial equality and economic fairness. What, even for atheists, agnostics and freethinkers, was there not to like?

Well, Mr. McGowan soon enough found out. “No way am I going to give my money to groups that will use it to hit my kids over the head with a Bible,” wrote one member in an email as he cut off his financial support. A blogger on the site No Forbidden Q uestions put the objections somewhat more elegantly: “While I’m happy to hear when people move away from fundamentalism toward a more liberal understanding of religion, I think it would be best if people became (or stayed) atheist, and that’s the goal I want to support.”

As the weeks passed in the summer of 2010, however, few other critics turned up.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast gone to the Father to prepare a place for us: Grant us so to live in communion with thee here on earth, that hereafter we may enjoy the fullness of thy presence; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

–Church of South India

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

–Hebrews 12:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Ian Paul on Justin Welby, Radio Nottingham and the C of E on Same-Sex Unions

My final comment in the interview on Radio Nottingham was that cases like Jeremy Pemberton’s are forcing the collapse of the two realities at a pace no-one is ready for””so I think all sides would prefer that such cases do not arise. But the immediate question for the House of Bishops now is: do their statements actually mean anything? I hope they do, for many reasons, and I cannot see that it is in anyone’s interests for the bishops to be told (possibly by lawyers) that they are powerless to enforce Canon Law.

Prayer needed for all sides”¦

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Albert Mohler–Why So Many Churches Hear So Little of the Bible

“It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out.” That stunningly clear sentence reflects one of the most amazing, tragic, and lamentable characteristics of contemporary Christianity: an impatience with the Word of God.

The sentence above comes from Mark Galli, senior managing editor of Christianity Today in an essay entitled, “Yawning at the Word.” In just a few hundred words, he captures the tragedy of a church increasingly impatient with and resistant to the reading and preaching of the Bible. We may wince when we read him relate his recent experiences, but we also recognize the ring of truth.

Galli was told to cut down on the biblical references in his sermon.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Nigerians must reject corrupt politicians in 2015, says Anglican bishop James Odedeji

Nigerians must take their destinies in their hands and reject candidates without credible pedigrees at the 2015 general polls, the Bishop of Lagos West Diocese of the Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. James Odedeji, said yesterday.

He asked Nigerians to “shine their eyes” and make quality decisions that will deliver the dividends of democracy to them.

Odedeji spoke while delivering his state of the nation address at the official opening of the 3rd session of the 5th Synod at Archbishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral in Ikeja.

The synod attracted delegates from the diocese, including Bishops and lay members.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NYT Upshot) Americans Claim to Attend Church Much More Than They Do

The United States has long been unusually religious for an affluent, industrialized Western nation ”” in survey after survey, Americans report relatively high levels of belief in God, affiliation with religious institutions and participation in worship services.

But counting churchgoers has always been a bit tricky. Some congregations tend to over-report attendance, seeking to demonstrate vitality. Others are more scrupulous, especially in denominations where churches pay assessments based on size. And it’s been evident for years that Americans tend to overstate their own religiosity: There is a persistent gap between the number of people who claim to go to worship services and the number who can actually be counted in pews.

The gap grows more striking as America becomes more secular. In recent years, poll after poll has found more Americans who do not identify with a religious tradition, and many denominations show evidence of decline. And yet, Americans continue to report high levels of belief and participation

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sociology