Archives For April 2017

Changing Church

April 26, 2017 — 3 Comments

I am a former Catholic–one of the fallen away, to my Catholic friends. And I go to an evangelical church with some who are also former Catholics.

But today, many attend Catholic and Orthodox churches who once called evangelical churches home.

Many American Christians have switched from one Christian tradition to another. It’s important to look at why. It’s also important to consider our respective responses when someone leaves.

The recent conversion of Hank Hanegraaff from evangelicalism to Greek Orthodoxy provides a public glimpse of what is now an everyday occurrence in America.

The new congregation welcomes the newcomer with open arms. The former congregation may work to conceal the sting of loss. Sometimes, they don’t work so hard at it. Still, others try to take an objective look at the reasons some depart. Continue Reading…

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” Mother Teresa

Some Christian traditions–or just individual Christians–emphasize prayer and contemplation along with Christian action. Others emphasize action along with prayer and contemplation.

In no tradition–and I would hope, with no individual Christian–is either mode of expressing our faith exclusive. It’s a matter of emphasis.

I was struck by this point while reading Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option. In the chapter about the monks of Norcia, Dreher talks about how their days are structured around prayer, then work. Continue Reading…

“While there are many secondary issues genuine believers will continue to debate this side of eternity, I have and will always champion what C.S. Lewis called mere Christianity. ‘In essentials unity, non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity.'”  Hank Hanegraaff

Hank Hanegraaff recently joined the Greek Orthodox Church. His change of congregation has caused a great gasp in some corners of evangelical Christianity. A voice of evangelicalism through a syndicated apologetics radio program, Hanegraaff and his wife on Palm Sunday were accepted into the Greek Orthodox Church.

He’s walked away from Christianity! He’s gone from grace to works! That’s the view many have of anyone who moves from evangelicalism to a liturgical tradition–especially to Catholicism or Orthodoxy.

But lately, many have changed pews, some, like Hanegraaf, moving from evangelical to liturgical and others from liturgical traditions to under the steeples of evangelicalism.

My two favorite authors illustrate this point. Eric Metaxas came to evangelical Christianity from Greek Orthodoxy. And Rod Dreher came to Eastern Orthodoxy from Methodism.

Now Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, has followed Dreher’s route–to Orthodoxy. And some are horrified. Continue Reading…

I sort through old recipes. Wedding soup from a cousin. Bracciole, from a website, but it tastes like the family recipe. And pancake soup (crepes with Romano cheese in chicken broth), which I tested once, then twice, and my daughter said I had hit upon her grandmother’s recipe.

This year, I bought Easter bread, a choice on a fundraiser sheet. The memory maker of our family recipe for that has passed on and his recipe went with him. It was in his head and not on paper. So we continue the search.

As I put meatballs in the slow cooker, the radio sings, “Oh no, You never let go.”

A flood of memories comes over me. Years of cooking in this kitchen. Years that were simple in their beauty of children dressed in Easter finery, their hands holding baskets of sweets. Years that were sad. Years that were profound. Years that He held me and never let go. Continue Reading…

Never the Same

April 14, 2017 — Leave a comment

Their lives were set. They had worked at their jobs all their lives. They thought they knew which way life would turn for the rest of their days.

There was a hope for a political savior–to free them from the Romans. But mostly there was routine, the everydayness of work and home.

Then they met Him. Perhaps He was the one–the one who would save them from the oppression of Rome.

They were fishermen and a tax collector.

Disciples.

They listened. They followed. They believed. Continue Reading…

We walk a journey in a darkened world. And many times we do not see how each step leads us to a place we could not have foreseen.

The lesson? When darkness comes, keep moving forward.

They were there to make a difference–working in the name of God–to honor Jesus, to carry the Gospel to a dark land.

Then more darkness descended when the epidemic took hold of Liberia in 2014.

Ebola.

It strikes fear in those who understand what it does.

It is contagious through mere touch.

And Liberia is a culture imbued with touch.  Continue Reading…

The Storm Whisperer

April 6, 2017 — 1 Comment

Storms rage. Seas rise.

Cold rain, wind, darkness,

Peril and piercing pain.

Storms of money,

Not enough, or sometimes, too much.

Storms of illness,

Addiction, Continue Reading…

Building Brigadoon

April 3, 2017 — Leave a comment

 


Brigadoon–the mythical Scottish society that appears for one day every 100 years. An ideal idyll–if only you believe in miracles.

A wise character explains the existence of the elusive village as a miracle.

[M]ost folks dinna believe in miracles. Miracles require faith, and faith seems to be . . . dead. . .” Continue Reading…