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What makes a Christian different from anyone else in the world?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: What makes a Christian different from anyone else in the world? – H.Q.

A: One Christian might say he is different from his non-Christian friends because he belongs to a church. Another might reply that she is different because she knows she has been forgiven of her sins and is going to ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Light Notes: 'Clogs' can block what matters most in life

Religion / Religious News /

“Ouch!”

I banged my head once again while under the sink trying to figure out why the faucet flow was reduced to a trickle. After a number of efforts and not a little consternation on my part, the source of the clog was found and full flow was restored much to my satisfaction, sore forehead notwithstanding.

Clogs. I’m referring to ...Read more

What does "disciple" mean when used in the Bible?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: The word “disciple” today usually means that a person is part of a cult. But the word when used in the Bible meant something else, didn’t it? – D.F.

A: People in Jesus’ day knew what the word “disciple” meant. The Roman world was filled with philosophers and teachers who ...Read more

Filippo Monteforte/AFP/AFP/TNS

Commentary: The pope cracks down on the Latin Mass, putting traditionalists in a bind

Religion / Religious News /

The news that Pope Francis will reimpose limits on the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass will disappoint and even enrage devotees of that ritual. But traditionalist Catholics who appreciated the revival of the old form encouraged by Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, are caught in a couple of contradictions.

The first is that ...Read more

The God Squad: More short Psalms for summer Bible study: Psalm 43

Religion / God Squad /

1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy ...Read more

Is it true that God really wants to be a friend?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: Is it true that God really wants to be a friend? – F.G.

A: Biologists speculate about how mankind came to be on earth, but the question is not “how” but “why.” This is the crucial question. Don’t miss what the Bible says about this: God created us to have a personal ...Read more

Do atheists really disbelieve that there is an all-knowing God?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: Do atheists really disbelieve that there is an all-knowing God and that death is the end of ourselves, the end of life completely? – E.L.

A: On a visit to the Soviet Union’s famed “Academic City,” a distinguished scholar from one of the finest research centers in Siberia said that ...Read more

Francine Orr/TNS

New Lady of La Vang statue expected to attract faithful from around the Vietnamese diaspora

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — A canvas drape covered the statue, but that did not stop tourists from filming themselves in front of it.

With a selfie stick decked in images of the old South Vietnamese flag, Vinh Hoang of Houston narrated for a Facebook post.

After it is unveiled this weekend, the 12-foot-tall Virgin Mary, as she is believed to have looked ...Read more

The God Squad: Another short Psalm for summer study: Psalm 93 (and 121) (KJV)

Religion / God Squad /

I hope my favorite Bible study group at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is keeping up with my God Squad Psalms course. We have already studied Psalm 23, 131, 115, 117, and 133. Today we take up Psalm 93:

1 The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath ...Read more

Amir Hoso/TNS

Light Notes: Shake it off and go about God's business

Religion / Religious News /

Heat waves shimmied in rhythm from the basalt lip of rock. It was hot, I was bone tired and — with 21 miles behind me — I still had eight more to go.

A moment’s rest wouldn’t do any harm.

I eased around a wide lip of rock on the bank of a rushing river. Looking for a semi-flat surface to plant my bottom and feet, I said out loud, “...Read more

Courtesy Scott Gronholz/TNS

Uninvited to serve on Christian group's board after coming out, Seattle man starts nonprofit for queer youth of faith

Religion / Religious News /

SEATTLE — It was Alex Churchman's mother who found Beloved Arise first. She was searching for a way to help her 13-year-old, who had been questioning his gender identity and hospitalized after an attempt to harm himself.

Ashley Churchman, who lives in Arkansas with Alex, saw an Instagram post by the Seattle-based organization, started last ...Read more

The God Squad: The short Psalms for summer study: Psalm 15

Religion / God Squad /

1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

4 In whose eyes a ...Read more

Vatican Media/IPA/IPA via ZUMA Press/TNS

Pope Francis hospitalized for scheduled surgery

Religion / Religious News /

Pope Francis was taken to a hospital in Rome Sunday afternoon for a scheduled surgery, the Vatican announced.

The 84-year-old pontiff is undergoing surgery for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, during which small bulges or sacs form from the wall of the large intestine. If left untreated and allowed to become more severe, ...Read more

Jessica Griffin/TNS

A young rabbi reveals to his flock that he has been in recovery from opioid addiction for a decade

Religion / Religious News /

Rabbi Michael Perice told his Burlington County, N.J., congregation Monday that he has been in recovery from opioid addiction for 10 years and hopes to help lift the stigma on people experiencing substance abuse disorder or other mental health challenges.

Perice, 35, of Philadelphia, made the disclosure during a Zoom call with more than 80 ...Read more

The God Squad: The spiritual meaning of America

Religion / God Squad /

Of all the secular holidays of our culture, Thanksgiving is my favorite. It is about gratitude and gratitude is at the top of my list of moral virtues taught by God in the Bible to all of us. I also like Valentine’s Day which (I know!) has its roots in Christianity but, like Thanksgiving, it is about love and love is my second favorite moral ...Read more

The God Squad: Spiritual balancing with my friend M

Religion / God Squad /

What follows is very much a part of our study of Psalm 117 and its invitation to praise God.

Recently, my dear friend M, wrote to me a tale of woe about his life, as an act of spiritual balancing in which I ask people to spend exactly as much time telling me about their blessings as they do telling me about her burdens. I asked him to send me ...Read more

The God Squad: Psalm 117

Religion / God Squad /

Our summer vacation reading list is a study guide for the shortest psalms in the Bible. I offer this eventual book as a help for my friends at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We have already studied Psalm 23, 131, and 133. Today we take up Psalm 117.

Psalm 117

1 O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise ...Read more

The God Squad: Psalm 133

Religion / God Squad /

Another short Psalm for the Lutheran Church Bible Study Group — Psalm 133

1 A song of ascents. Of David. How good and how pleasant it is that brothers dwell together. (Hebrew: henai ma tov u’ma’naim shevet achim gam yachad).

2 It is like fine oil on the head running down onto the beard, the beard of Aaron, that comes down ...Read more

The God Squad: More short Psalms for long study—Psalm 131, part 2

Religion / God Squad /

Well, last week I began my study guide to the 131st Psalm for M and her Bible study group at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the hopes that by picking one of the shortest psalms in the Bible (just three verses), I might be able to get through the whole thing in just one column. No luck! I just got through one ...Read more