Though some may find it trite when their Facebook feeds fill up with posts about gratefulness, I enjoy the gentle reprieve. To hear people intentionally looking for the good when so many days it is the bad that is easier to find.
I like the new guy, Pope Francis. He's not perfect, and neither is the institution, but this guy's a rebel. I think Jesus -- you know, the guy who chased the investment bankers out of the temple -- would like him too.
Just over two years ago, I picked up a free Bible. I had read it before but, this time, almost instantly, in a wave of emotions and realizations and revelations and a wide variety of indescribable sensations, I became a Christian. It happened.
There was never any discussion about the married status of these biblical people. It was simply assumed that they were all straight, just like my family: a mom and dad, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
It seems the topic du jour in religious circles is the waning faith of Millennials. While I've enjoyed reading the opinions and commentaries of the experts, I thought maybe it was time to have a Millennial lend her voice.
Such a decision cannot be accepted and defended even if it was directed at one newspaper or a single person. This decision, which is completely against Islam, a religion of peace and brotherhood, must be reversed and there must be freedom of expression for everyone.
How should the Christian community as a whole proceed into the coming centuries, in light of where it's been? I would suggest, and I certainly dare to hope, that we are entering into an era of invigorated ecumenism.
I can be as born again as the former tax collectors and prostitutes of the New Testament, as devout as Mother Theresa, as divinely gifted as a saint, but because I was divorced at the age of 24, I can never be part of an Orthodox religion.
Many of my clients aren't looking for answers, even when they think they are, and even when I want them to be. They are not seeking to understand, but longing to be understood. I suspect the same is fundamentally true of churchgoers.
While megachurches continue to experience mega-growth, the question emerges: Just how are they growing? While there may be no one "formula" for growing a megachurch, there are some clear and observable patterns and trends to their growth.