Daily Archives: February 28, 2016

(BBC) A Baby Gorilla's caesarean birth at the Bristol Zoo

A baby gorilla was born at Bristol Zoo who called in help from the local hospital as babies don’t usually survive, but see the story and how the baby is doing 11 days after the operation.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Animals, England / UK, Health & Medicine

[Mark Jeong] The day I saw Jesus

I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, so I didn’t grow up hearing about the God I now call Father. To me, God was just an abstract concept or idea, and church was mostly a place where Korean families got together to gossip about college acceptances and share strategies on conquering the SAT.

My parents never told me about the God who says “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” but, like many children, I certainly knew what it meant to be forsaken.

At the age of 9, my father left our family and wouldn’t return (besides an annual visit or two) for the next twenty years. His absence became the new normal, and I came to idolize the idea of the “picture-perfect” family.

But all of that changed when one day I saw Jesus…

Read it all [h/t Pat Dague]

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

How ordinary People's Letters Helped Challenger Shuttle Engineer Shed 30 Years Of Guilt

Jim Sides listened to the NPR story in his car in Jacksonville, N.C.

“When I heard he carried a burden of guilt for 30 years, it broke my heart,” Sides, an engineer, says. “And I just sat there in the car in the parking lot and cried.”

Like many engineers who responded to Ebeling’s story, Sides knows what it’s like to present data and face resistance. He’s also certain about who bears responsibility for the decisions that result.

“He and his colleagues stated it very plainly. It was a dangerous day for the launch,” Sides says. “But [Ebeling] was not the decision-maker. He did his job as an engineer. He should not have to carry any guilt.”

Read (or listen to) it all NPR.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Pastoral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NYT Op-ed) David Brooks–The Governing Cancer of Our Time

We live in a big, diverse society. There are essentially two ways to maintain order and get things done in such a society ”” politics or some form of dictatorship. Either through compromise or brute force. Our founding fathers chose politics.

Politics is an activity in which you recognize the simultaneous existence of different groups, interests and opinions. You try to find some way to balance or reconcile or compromise those interests, or at least a majority of them. You follow a set of rules, enshrined in a constitution or in custom, to help you reach these compromises in a way everybody considers legitimate.

The downside of politics is that people never really get everything they want. It’s messy, limited and no issue is ever really settled. Politics is a muddled activity in which people have to recognize restraints and settle for less than they want.
But that’s sort of the beauty of politics, too….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Euchologium Anglicanum

O Eternal God, who through thy Son our Lord hast promised a blessing upon those who hear thy Word and faithfully keep it: Open our ears, we humbly beseech thee, to hear what thou sayest, and enlighten our minds, that what we hear we may understand, and understanding may carry into good effect by thy bounteous prompting; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

–Psalm 93:4-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(LA Times) The creed includes weed for these Colorado Christians

As snow began to fall outside, Deb Button snuggled up on her couch, fired up a joint and spoke of the nature of Christ.

“Even if Jesus didn’t smoke weed, he’d still be a stoner,” she said, exhaling a white cloud.

Her kitten sniffed the air curiously.

“Jesus was peaceful and loving. He went from house to house and was always accepted,” she explained. “Only a stoner could do that.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Religion & Culture, Theology

[Vaughan Roberts] The Place of Music and Singing in Church

From beginning to end, the Bible is full of music and song. The first musician, Jubal, makes his appearance as early as Genesis 4, where we are told that “he was the father of all who play the harp and flute” (v.21). As we turn the pages, we find many who follow in Jubal’s musical footsteps. Moses sang a song of praise after the Exodus; Deborah sang after the victory over Sisera; King David played the harp, and wrote many of the Psalms; the Lord Jesus sang a hymn with his disciples at the last supper; Paul and Silas sang a hymn of praise to God in jail; and the book of Revelation tells us that there is plenty of singing in heaven as the heavenly choir joins in praise to God.

The Bible makes it clear that we are not to wait until heaven; it contains frequent exhortations to us to sing. For example:

“Come let us sing for joy to the Lord” (Ps. 95:1)

“Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvellous things” (Ps. 98:1)

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19)

The question we are addressing in this chapter is, “Why?” Why does the Bible encourage us to sing and make music to the Lord? We will look at the answer shortly: we are to sing to praise God and to encourage one another. But first we will consider an answer that is often given today, but which has no basis in Scripture.

Read it all [h/t S Wood]

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

PBS Religion+Ethics Newsweekly–Moral Issues in Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Host Bob Abernethy and managing editor Kim Lawton talk about the moral dimensions of the migrant crisis with Michel Gabaudan, president of Refugees International, and Mark Smith, senior director for humanitarian emergencies at the Christian group World Vision. Says Gabaudan, “At the end of the Second World War to try to prevent the resurge into the horrors we saw at the time, the community of nations did agree to a certain number of international instruments to be more generous to civilians caught in conflict, and the international humanitarian law was precisely trying to put some rules to how we conduct war and to protect civilians. These have been absolutely violated by the Assad regime, to a large extent by the Russians in indiscriminate bombings, to a lesser extent but still by some of the other groups fighting there. And the second set of regulations was one to protect refugees. The Refugee Convention oblige the state to sign it to receive people who flee for their protection, and we’re seeing in Europe where almost all the countries sign the convention that this is not how they are reacting at present. So we failed the Syrians.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology