Daily Archives: May 7, 2016

(Telegraph) Gérard Depardieu gives up alcohol: 'I really no longer like drunkenness'

Gérard Dépardieu, the larger-than-life French star who once boasted that he sometimes drank 14 bottles of wine a day, says he has now given up the booze.

“I haven’t been drinking for some time now. I really no longer like drunkenness,” the 67-year-old, who is currently starring of the new Netflix series Marseille, told le Parisien newspaper.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Europe, France, Movies & Television

(GMM) Alison Barfoot–Rose's story: "What was meant for evil, God meant for good"

Take Rose, for example. At the age of 19 and in her first year of university in a town near her home village, Rose and her family were among her tribemates who were targeted for ethnic cleansing.

Their only crime was to be born in the “H” tribe. The “L” tribe hated them for who they were and marked all their homes in the town for killing. Her two brothers were killed, but she survived because a Good Samaritan whisked her to the airport and got her the only remaining seat available on a flight out of the war zone. She had never flown in an airplane, had only the clothes on her back, and didn’t know where she was going.

When she arrived at her unknown destination, she didn’t speak any of the languages spoken there, except a few words of broken English. Someone asked her where she was going and all she could say was, “Take me to the closest Anglican church.” She grew up in a home of committed Anglican Christians so that’s the only thing she could think of.

She ended up in the office of a Church of Uganda Bishop. He and his wife “adopted” her and took her into their family.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of Uganda, Education, Health & Medicine, Missions, Parish Ministry, Theology

(NYT Op-ed) Russell Moore–A White Church No More

The center of gravity for both orthodoxy and evangelism is not among Anglo suburban evangelicals but among African Anglicans and Asian Calvinists and Latin American Pentecostals. The vital core of American evangelicalism today can be found in churches that are multiethnic and increasingly dominated by immigrant communities.

The next Billy Graham probably will speak only Spanish or Arabic or Persian or Mandarin. American evangelicals often use the language of “revival” ”” a word that is sometimes co-opted by politicians to mean a resurgence of a politically useful but watered-down civil religion. A congregation that ignores the global church can deprive itself of revival by overlooking those places where the Spirit is working.

The thriving churches of American Christianity are multigenerational, theologically robust, ethnically diverse and connected to the global church. If Jesus is alive ”” and I believe that he is ”” he will keep his promise and build his church. But he never promises to do that solely with white, suburban institutional evangelicalism.

The question is whether evangelicals will be on the right side of Jesus.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Globalization, History, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Chicago Reader) Laura Pearson–Is the ”˜spiritual’ experience of SoulCycle sacred or inane?

Hallie W. is very down-to-earth and genuinely inspiring. She never phones it in, delivering with sincerity “soulful” messages such as “The dream is free. The hustle’s sold separately!” Even though I know various factors””music, mood lighting, adrenaline””conspired to move me that day, I probably was really into it, in that way that exercising””and especially, I’ve found, exercising in near darkness””engenders a feeling of invincibility and a surge of fiery ambition coupled with the satisfaction of no longer spinning one’s wheels.

I can’t say how long I’ll remain part of this “church.” I haven’t signed up for a class in weeks for lack of disposable income, and this summer I’m more likely to jog outside to my own playlist, featuring way fewer bass drops. But another SoulCycle location opened in February on Southport, so I’ll probably go make an offering of $30, plus shoe rental, just to re-experience it all.

I have my own rules: Wear what you want. Never, ever evangelize about it. And let yourself get lost in the transcendent moment sometimes, however contrived. Who am I to judge anyone’s soul journey?

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Sports, Urban/City Life and Issues

Downtown Charleston South Carolina churches wary of proposed parking changes

Charleston’s review of on-street parking in some downtown neighborhoods is pitting residents concerned about bars and restaurants against churches whose services can last two or three hours.

The city’s transportation and legal departments are conducting a 90-day study of residential parking regulations, especially those for downtown neighborhoods.

City Councilman Mike Seekings, chairman of council’s Traffic and Transportation Committee, said the study will examine the rules in 10 special parking districts and the total number of spaces available. It also will clarify the law on changing the hours of special residential parking restrictions.

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(RNS) German politicians suggest taxing Muslims to fight radicalization

In American politics, raising taxes is seen as a sure way to provoke a voter revolt. But in Germany, some politicians see taxing Muslims as a strategy to keep them from becoming radicalized.

The standard-bearer for this unexpected idea is a politician from the Christian Social Union, the folksy right-wing party known for desperately wanting to keep Muslim immigrants from the Middle East from pouring in to its traditionally Catholic southern state of Bavaria.

Strange as it might seem, there are Muslim leaders in Germany who think a religious tax might be a good idea, too. If they can get over the grumbling, mosque-goers may agree.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Germany, Islam, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Taxes, Terrorism, Theology

(WSJ) U.S. Troops Return to Yemen in Battle Against Al Qaeda, Pentagon Says

The Pentagon said Friday that it sent a small number of U.S. special operations forces back to Yemen to provide training and assistance to an Arab coalition to fight al Qaeda militants in the fractured country.

Defense officials said about a dozen or so special operations forces are on the ground to assist United Arab Emirates special forces battle militants associated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, in Yemen. They said the deployment of forces, which began about two weeks ago, had helped Arab forces retake the port city of Mukalla, along the southern coast of Yemen.

Since April 23, the Pentagon has conducted four counterterrorism strikes against AQAP, killing a total of 10 AQAP operatives and injuring one more, said Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Terrorism, Theology, Yemen

Diocese of Glouchester seeks to Identify key priorities for the next stage of their Journey Together

Whilst there are places of growth, the overall pattern is one of slow but continuing decline in church attendance and discipleship. We want to grow more confident in sharing our faith and enabling others to meet and follow Christ. We also need to place a greater focus on releasing and nurturing the gifts of laity and clergy so that ministry is increasingly a shared venture.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Pastor's Prayerbook

Jesus, our Master, do thou meet us while we walk in the way and long to reach the heavenly country; so that, following thy light, we may keep the way of righteousness, and never wander away into the darkness of this world’s night, while thou, who art the Way, the Truth, and the Light art shining within us; for thy mercy’s sake.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands”” remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

–Ephesians 2:11-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Tim Challis–4 Methods To Organize Your Prayer Life

Not too long ago I was speaking to a friend who was lamenting the way he had spent his time the day before. He had become convicted that his prayer life was languishing and that it would benefit from a measure of organization. A couple of hours later he had to move on to other activities and realized that he had put a lot of time into thinking about prayer and organizing prayer, but little time into the actual act of prayer. Have you ever had an experience like that?

I attempted to relieve my friend’s burden that day. I explained that sometimes the key to sparking your prayer life is as simple as dedicating time to prayer but that other times the key is organizing the time you’ve already dedicated to it.

Read it all.

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