Daily Archives: December 10, 2015

Tim+Kathy Keller on their new book 'The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms'.

Listen to it all (a little over 40 minutes).

Posted in Uncategorized

(FC) The Surprising Benefits Of Gratitude


In one recent study, psychologists found that being primed with gratitude can help us make longer-term decisions. Subjects who wrote about a time they felt grateful were more likely than other groups (who wrote about happy and neutral experiences, respectively) to opt for a check to be mailed to them later than for a smaller amount of cash immediately.

So the next time you’re up against a test of your willpower, think of something you’re thankful for. The exercise could help tamp down the part of your brain whining for instant gratification.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

Inspiring+ Encouraging–ESPN E:60 presents: Longshot: The Journey of Stephen Curry

ESPN E:60 presents: Longshot: The Journey of Stephen Curry from Northern Lights Communications on Vimeo.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, History, Marriage & Family, Sports

Fresh Ebola Cases Damp Liberia Hopes of Eliminating Deadly Disease

Nurses at a downtown Monrovia hospital were about to punch out from work late one November afternoon when a feverish teenager, convulsing and bleeding from his mouth, stumbled into the waiting room.

For Mosoka Fallah, the boy’s symptoms pointed in a grimly familiar direction. He drove off””speeding in the wrong lane and dodging head-on traffic””to a meeting of government officials in the center of the capital, where he burst into the room with the news: Ebola is back.

Twice this year, Liberia, the worst hit of all Ebola-affected nations with at least 4,800 deaths blamed on the disease, has been declared Ebola-free, only to see new cases appear. Liberian officials and medical researchers now wonder how soon their country and its neighbors will be completely rid of the scourge.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Liberia

Frank Cranmer on the Full Butler-Sloss Report (which he calls the CORAB report)

For me the money paragraph is this one:

Perhaps inevitably, the report seems largely concerned with institutions rather than with individuals: how, for example, do you encourage “more structured dialogue between those who are religious and those who are not”? [6.35]. Such an encounter would not be between the Joe Bloggs in the pew and the Joanna Bloggs who wouldn’t be seen dead in one ”“ it would almost certainly be between senior members of faith communities and senior members of organisations such as the BHA and the NSS. That is not to belittle any of those organisations: merely to query the degree to which “faith leaders” necessarily represent the people whom they claim to lead. Part of the problem with the current situation, it seems to me, is that what faith and community leaders (of all faiths and none) decide on moral and ethical issues sometimes fails to trickle down to their wider communities.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

The Full Butler-Sloss Report on Religion and Public Life in Britain

Read it all (104 page pdf). From their own pr:

Politicians need urgently to overhaul UK public policy on religion and belief, to take account of the increasing impact of religion globally, set along side the less religious, less Christian and hugely more diverse nature of our society here in Britain.

That is the key conclusion of Living with Difference: community, diversity and the common good, a major report published today (Monday 7th) by the Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life convened by the Woolf Institute and chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss. Amongst the report’s most striking proposals are:

Representation in the House of Lords to be opened up to other faiths, offsetting the number of bishops, and the next coronation to become a pluralist
A reduction in the percentage of admissions on the basis of religion by faith schools
Re-focusing anti-terror legislation on promoting, not limiting, freedom of enquiry, speech and expression, and engagement with a wide range of affected groups
The creation of a new bottom-up Magna Carta-style statement of values for public life, as an alternative to the Government’s approach to defining so-called ”˜fundamental British values’.

You can read the full pr if you wish to as well.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(Spectator) 'The tide is turning': Archbp Justin Welby interviewed by Michael Gove

I ask, on that basis, who are the archbishop’s heroes? From whom in history does he draw his inspiration? One name stands out. Revealingly, it is not an obvious name that sends a popular signal, but a figure obscure to most, not an Anglican celebrity but a Catholic martyr, not a European mover and shaker but a voice from the developing world, not a power in any land but a suffering servant.

”˜Cardinal Van Thuan spent 13 years in a communist prison after the fall of South Vietnam. He was in solitary confinement. But he led his torturers to Christ. He converted, taught, and ordained priests in prison. He breathed in the presence of Christ.’

There aren’t many contemporary Christian leaders who are both energetic in their condemnation of the crimes of communism and robust in their analysis of the evil of Islamism, but Justin Welby stands out. There is something special about him. And his candour, commitment and kindness are gifts in which all can share this Christmas.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas Merton

Gracious God, who didst call thy monk Thomas Merton to proclaim thy justice out of silence, and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer of Thomas Merton to Begin the Day

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

–Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

–Psalm 37:3-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(ACNS) One killed, two injured in gun attack on church in Burundi

A young boy has been killed and two people injured after an armed gang attacked a church in the Burundian capital Bujumbura. No motive for the attack on St Mark’s Church, Ngagara, is known; but it is believed to be part of ongoing violence that has left more than 240 people dead since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced in April that he would seek re-election for an unprecedented third term. President Nkurunziza won July’s election and survived an attempted coup.

“This kind of attack is common in the capital here,” a spokesman for the Province of Burundi told ACNS, “but it is the first time that a church has been attacked. Ngagara is one of the places that is often attacked. Often there is gunfire and shootings in the place.

“It was an attack by a group of people. One person has been killed and two other persons have been injured. One is the wife of the assistance pastor of St Marks and [the other] his child.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Provinces, Burundi, Religion & Culture, Violence

Anglican Bishop Faults Malawi Leaders for Inflicting Pain On Ordinary People

Anglican bishop for Upper Shire Brighton Malasa has squarely put the blame on Malawi leaders for the problems facing the country.

Malasa said in an interview that Malawi leaders do not have plans for Malawians whenever they are getting into government.

“Yes, we have some misguided civil servants who steal money from the government but largely our leaders are to blame,” said Malasa.

President Peter Mutharika has blamed the cashgate and donors pull out as the major reasons for the economic turmoil.

However, it had to take the opposition, civil society g

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Central Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Malawi, Politics in General, Theology

(Newsweek) The Nigerian Pastor With a Boko Haram Bounty on His Head

During its six-year insurgency in northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram has killed thousands of people and displaced millions in its bid to realize its fundamentalist vision of an Islamic caliphate. In that quest, it has persecuted Nigeria’s Christian population and sought to exterminate Christian clerics, including Hassan John, an Anglican pastor from Jos, central Nigeria.

John, 52, is used to living with the perpetual threat of Boko Haram. “Every Christian cleric anywhere has the same bounty on his head,” says John, who is currently studying at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics in the U.K. “If you are a pastor or a priest, from Jos all the way to Maiduguri, you do have a bounty on your head.” The price of John’s life, according to the militant group, is 150,000 naira ($754)””slightly more than the going rate for an iPhone 6s in Nigeria. The bounty, however, has not stopped him from reaching out to Nigeria’s Muslim community in order to build bridges burned down by Boko Haram’s violent actions.

The Anglican pastor is currently studying in Oxford, but will return to his hometown of Jos in July, where he works with Muslim communities. Jos, the capital of Plateau state, lies in the central belt of the West African country. Nigeria is roughly 50 percent Muslim and 40 percent Christian, but the vast majority of Muslims are concentrated in the north””the epicenter of Boko Haram’s insurgency””while Christians tend to live in southern states. Jos, as John describes it, lies on “the fault line between the two forces.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Ministry of the Ordained, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

David Ritchie Appointed as Secretary General and Chief Officer of the Representative Church Body

Read it all from the Church of Ireland.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland