How could it possibly be a “Good” Friday?

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Good Friday. Huh?

Why is it “good?”  How could it possibly be good?

  • In a culture that is ever so quick to get to the product
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to avoid suffering and pain and seek ways to medicate ourselves to avoid pain
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to jump to the bunnies and eggs
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to commercialize, capitalize, and consumerize Continue reading “How could it possibly be a “Good” Friday?”

what would jesus do: burn the koran or eat with his muslim neighbors?

As we approach the 10 year anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, I wanted to share this post with you again.

Foremost, we remember the victims and mourn with so many that lost loved ones. I’m also mindful of so many who went beyond themselves to help others. They are indeed heroes.

As we honor  them, may we also be reminded that all of us – whether we were present in NYC or not on that horrific day – are invited to help cultivate a world of peace and grace.

Blessed be the peacemakers.

It’s a simple question: What would Jesus do?

Would he burn the Koran or eat with his Muslim neighbors?

You may have heard about the person from Florida who intends to memorialize the September 11 attacks by burning copies of the Koran in a bonfire. His name is Terry Jones and he also happens to be a pastor. Continue reading “what would jesus do: burn the koran or eat with his muslim neighbors?”

the testimony of one north korean girl

You need to watch this. In fact, you must watch this. Please watch this.

While I wasn’t personally able to attend the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Capetown, South Africa (Nov. 11-18), I tried to catch some of the events via the web. While there were numerous webcasts, the one that caught my attention was the testimony of a young 18-year-old Korean girl. I believe, with intention, her name wasn’t released but she was born in North Korea, lived in China, and now resides in South Korea.

I want you…in fact, I urge you…to take about 10 minutes: 8.41 minutes to watch the video and the remainder, 1.19 minutes, to lift a prayer for the people of North Korea. Here’s the video. It wasn’t available on YouTube so I uploaded it here:
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is he a christian, a muslim, or a cactus? why can’t we just believe president obama?

I received a letter this week from the White House. A big fat packet. Ain’t I special?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t an invitation to a special Gala or for me to sing at an event. It wasn’t about a partnership with One Day’s Wages. Or to join his circle of sagacious advisors. Or to ask me to join Warren Buffet in helping turn around the U.S. economy. Or to inform me that he’d be visiting my church. And no, it wasn’t a direct letter from President Obama himself. But it was a letter from one of his staff sharing some stuff about President Obama, some initiatives, and what I perceived to be clarity about his faith. Huh?

It puzzled me initially but after some thought, I think I know why I received the letter as I’m sure several other “pastors” may have received it as well.

Why? Continue reading “is he a christian, a muslim, or a cactus? why can’t we just believe president obama?”

why i am not quitting christianity

Unless you are the Geico Caveman, you have probably heard of the dramatic news of Anne Rice’s simple statement of “quitting Christianity.” But just in case you haven’t or are in need of your daily dose of Anne Rice, I thought I’d chime in and share some thoughts. And if some of you are wondering, “Can’t we focus on some more important things like fighting global poverty?” I agree: visit here.

First of all, I am a fan of Anne Rice. In fact, I don’t know of many people that dislike her. She’s a phenomenal writer and additionally, she’s gotta have some Asian genes in her. She’s 68 and ages like no other. But in case you don’t know much about her:

Anne Rice (born Howard Allen O’Brien on October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of gothic, erotic, and religious-themed books from New Orleans, Louisiana. She was married to poet and painter Stan Rice for 41 years until his death from cancer in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history. [via wikipedia]

She is also known as a Christian for some time but last week, she wrote & shared the following via her Facebook page:

“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

“In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control.

“In the name of… Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

Here are some of my vomitaceous thoughts: Continue reading “why i am not quitting christianity”

top 5 most challenging, convicting, mind-bending, face-melting books of all time?

I received this email from one of my blog readers a few weeks ago asking about my thoughts about the “Top 5 most challenging/convicting/mind-bending/face-melting books of all time.”

Do you take requests for posts on your blog? If so…. I know that from time to time you do top 5 stuff, like favorite movies or songs or artists, etc. This isn’t anything novel, but I’d be grateful for a “Top 5 most challenging/convicting/mind-bending/face-melting books of all time.” I guess I’m someone who learns a lot from books and I was just thinking about how I have roughly 5 books that I have read within the last few years that have truly changed the way I perceive myself and the world around me. It would be great to hear what others are reading -not their most favorite or enjoyable books (although this might be the case)- but books that have significantly reoriented the way they live. Maybe, you’ve done something like this before and I just missed it, but if not, something like this would be fun to be a part of.

Thanks! ~Ric

Asides from the Bible, what would you be on your Top 5 List?

I can’t list 5…I don’t even know know where to begin so I’m just sharing my list of most influential Christians books again. There are so many excellent books that it’s really difficult to condense it into a list of 10. My recommendations are created with an attempt towards the larger picture of Christian discipleship – meaning that I want to balance my list with theology, discipleship, spirituality, bibilical studies, etc.

I hope 50 years from now, this list will change so that it also includes numerous female and non-Caucasian authors. Continue reading “top 5 most challenging, convicting, mind-bending, face-melting books of all time?”