When I first turned my life over to God and accepted Jesus into my life, I thought was faced with a hefty learning curve. I felt like I had a mountain of change to make before I could actually be a good Christian role model for our daughters.
My mother had bought the toy for Jason when he was first diagnosed. He was handmade with felt eyes, nose and mouth, perpetually smiling. Big Jon went with him to every doctor's appointment, slept with him in every hospital bed. He offered so much more than security.
A lot of people won't want to go near anything remotely religious, including meditation. But for those who want faith, and who have become cynical about faith seeming little more than political tool, don't let politicians and giant religious institutions steal from you what is rightfully yours.
Perhaps, like in a good chess game, you'll have the insight to see two or three moves ahead. But if not, don't sweat it. Just show up and take the right next step without delay. That will help keep the doubts and the internal wrestling to a minimum.
While the entire political punditry world is caught up in yet another horserace, major tenets of the Republican party's faith seem to be crumbling. Their bedrock ideology is revealing itself, in multiple ways, of having been built on sand all along.
New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo offered a homeless man true human kindness -- basic goodness -- no strings attached, no dogma connected, no qualifications required or requested. Religions have been started with less.
Will we let such resolutions go the way of so many of our new-calendar-year's resolutions? Or will we take seriously the liturgical cycle that provides us with the Gospel model for making and sticking with what we set out to do as recommitted Christians in our age?
There's a way out of this mess. It's an easy one, really, although it does require some suspension of disbelief on everyone's part. Just change the date on the floor of Congress. No, not the date on the bill, the actual date.
When our lives are based in fear, we cannot think and live in transformational ways; we are doomed to perpetuate the status quo. Rather than live a life of fear, Lincoln embodied an open-hearted, inclusive, love-based way of life that truly revolutionized this country.
What I hope for is that, even in times when we disagree with one another so deeply on issues of the Christian faith, we can do so always knowing, believing and living the challenge that it is to be the Body of Christ. This is my prayer and I'm sticking to it.
As service became a defining aspect of growing up in America, the infrastructure moved from the church to the schools and became so secularized that conversations around faith were discouraged -- even taboo.
Accepting gratitude, the thanks of someone else, even a stranger, lights us up -- it makes us feel good. It helps us, even for a second, to see the light and love that is within us. When we give thanks, we open up spiritually.