Former Commissioner of Major League Baseball Fay Vincent recently served up a curve ball in a Wall Street Journal op ed piece (Sep. 16 2011, p. A11) titled “Soak the Rich? No, Soak the Needy.” Mr. Vincent complained because the Obama Administration, as part of a comprehensive jobs and deficit reduction package, is proposing to reduce the benefit a donor can receive for making a charitable contribution.
In 2011, natural disasters — earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods and fires — have dominated world news. In response, United Methodists have shared faithfully through praying, giving money, volunteering — and assembling UMCOR relief kits.
One of my regular routes for traveling on conference business carries me by a lumber mill on the edge of Baxley. I have seen this lumber mill hundreds of times over the years, but only recently have I seen this plant as presenting a lesson for local churches.
Amy Utley is, in her own words, unique for a church worker. She didn’t grow up attending church and didn’t open a Bible until she was 25. But when she finally did, it ignited a passion for church work, service and Biblical education that recently culminated in her professional certification in Christian education.
About 3,700 young people from 42 states and 274 churches gathered on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., July 13-16, for Youth 2011.
A good friend once said, “Getting old is not so bad, but being old is the pits!” What’s good about growing old? We may not have a ready answer, but the alternative is not so appealing. We often hear, “If I had it all to over again, I would do things differently. I would eat dessert first. I would only have grandchildren.” However, we are called to live this day. These, in fact, are the good old days. We have the responsibility to understand our life experiences and then share the lessons we have learned.
In the introduction to the Song of Solomon in “The Message,” Eugene Peterson says, “Christians read this book on many levels: as the intimacy of marital love between man and woman, God’s deep love for his people, Christ’s Bridegroom love for the church, and the Christian’s love for his or her Lord. It is a prism in which all the love of God in all the world, and all the responses of those who love and whom God loves, gathers and then separates into individual colors.” Whether it is an immediate attraction or a love that grows over time, true romantic love is a deep sense of connection at an intimate place. The church can be the healthiest place to talk about intimacy in all relationships because I John tells us, “God is love.”