By Michael Foust
When sixty-five refugees from Southeast Asia started attending Michael Spurlock’s tiny church in Smyrna, Tenn., about a decade ago, he welcomed them, even though the struggling congregation was on the verge of closing its doors.
Still, a question lingered in his mind: If the church of only twelve members couldn’t pay its own bills, how could it meet the needs of others? The answer, he says, came from heaven.
Spurlock was walking through a large field owned by the church one day when he sensed God telling him, “I’ve given you land, and I have sent you farmers from the other side of the world. Get to work.”
The solution seemed simple enough. The Karen refugees who fled Myanmar (Burma) had extensive experience in agriculture, and Spurlock’s congregation—All Saints Episcopal Church—had plenty of property. It even was adjacent to a creek. Church members and the Karen people …
Whatever is true…think on these things.
The Thai branch of a Japanese lingerie company, Wacoal, doesn’t feature scantily clad models in their ads. Instead, they tell true stories with life-affirming messages that everyone can watch and appreciate. The ads emphasize women’s true beauty. And the men in the stories are the kind of guys who appreciate goodness, and are not necessarily sexually involved with the women whom they admire and whose stories they tell. Check out the “My Beautiful Woman” ad campaign.
In January, I had the privilege of going on a press junket to Germany to retrace the steps of Martin Luther. This fall marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, so I visited the Luther sites. My travel/reflection article about it ran today over at Fathom.
But they don’t have this picture of me standing next to Phillip Melanchthon. To get cool inside stuff like that you have to visit my blog here. Thanks for reading!…
As part of my PhD research, I read Betty Friedan, heard Gloria Steinem in person, and spent a bunch of semesters exploring the history and teachings of feminism. And after I did so, I reached the conclusion that evangelicals in general need to pull back and regroup both in our representations of feminists and in our approach to reaching them.
Just as there is not one “Christianity” but many Christianities (e.g., Orthodox, Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran, Armenian, Calvinist), there are many feminisms (liberal, radical, Marxist, socialist, lesbian, biblical, difference feminists [we are women—viva le difference! from men] and sameness feminists [we’re the same except for biology]), and more.
Liberal feminists came out of the Equal Rights Movement. Betty Friedan was one of them. They are interested in equality, not to be confused with sameness. That is, they want the law to quit “seeing gender,” i.e., being biased against …
In early May, Jonathan, my nephew and a busy college student, began feeling tired and congested. He pushed through to make it to classes, work, and AWANA, where he taught children about God’s love. Then a dark spot appeared on one of his front teeth. Exhausted, he slept several days away, and then another dark spot appeared on one of his upper front teeth—but this time, it was accompanied by intense throbbing.
His dentist, who X-rayed his teeth and found everything to be normal, told him to see a doctor immediately. He suspected something immunological, And sure enough, blood tests showed acute leukemia. The physician called Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) and talked to the doctors there, then directed Jonathan and my sister, his mom, to go to the ER immediately. The OHSU team would be waiting.
Jonathan quickly developed pneumonia and was moved to ICU. And we …
Today I’m happy to have as my guest Chris Maxwell, who has recently authored a new book about some deep trials he and his family have experienced and survived with some wisdom to share.
Question: Tell us about your newest book, Underwater: When Encephalitis, Brain Injury, and Epilepsy Change Everything.
Chris: Underwater takes readers through my battle with encephalitis—a time I almost died, but lived and became a much different person. I now live with severe brain damage and epilepsy. Many things that were easy for me before I cannot do, or I find them difficult.
My wife, Debbie, and all three of our sons contributed to the book. We included stories about how our lives changed as well as stories from others who live with epilepsy. We also included advice from a counselor for caregivers—those family members and friends who are often forgotten in underwater stories.
The NEA sent this press release yesterday – The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) commends President Trump for announcing today a policy of protecting and vigorously promoting religious freedom. Religious freedom is a gift from God to people of all faiths and none, and is an indispensable foundation for human flourishing. We are grateful for the extent to which our constitution and laws protect the freedom of all Americans.
We welcome the promise, repeated today, that religious organizations will not be required to provide drugs that may act as abortifacients and services that violate their commitment to protect all human life. Now we call on the administration to promptly issue revised regulations and resolve lingering legal disputes over this issue.
Most evangelical leaders do not think pastors should endorse political candidates from the pulpit, according to the February Evangelical Leaders Survey. As Leith Anderson, NAE president, said, “Evangelicals emphasize evangelism, …
On the Nightstand/In My Kindle
Silence, by Shusaku Endo; Silence and Beauty, by Makoto Fujimura; The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature, by C. S. Lewis; The Image of God in an Image Driven Age, ed. by Beth Felker Jones and Jeffrey W. Barbeau; Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God, by Lauren Winner.