“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
When Frodo and Sam left the safety of The Shire, their perilous mission was to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mt. Doom located in the dark and deadly land of Mordor. Throughout their journey they battled sinister and terrifying enemies…and suffered the loss of several close friends along the way. But their resolve eventually brought them to Mt. Doom, and after a climactic fight with the treacherous Gollum, the ring was finally swallowed up by the heaving volcano. Middle Earth was safe…but the two tiny heroes weren’t!
Imagine that you’ve just been set free from an oppressive concentration camp. You’ve been ruthlessly worked and have seen friends and loved ones die in the process. How would you react to your freedom?
It’s a safe bet that Viktor Frankl responded differently.
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Just before Christmas in 2000, a 7-year-old boy named Tyrel Wolfe stuffed a humble shoebox with simple gifts, along with a picture of himself dressed like a cowboy, and mailed it overseas in the hopes it would bless a child in need.
Though he didn’t know it, the boy would one day receive a much greater blessing from the recipient.
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Church can be a place that’s filled with distractions: cell phones with annoying ring tones, old people who cough loudly (and unceasingly), and of course, babies that cry. But what about a kid who’s smiling? Is that a disruption to worship?
In one church, evidently so.
As of February, 2013, the average credit card debt for Americans who carry a monthly balance was a whopping $15,257. This staggeringly high number means that many Americans have a big problem with debt.
And the Bible says that debt is a very bad problem to have.
Daybreak on April 2, 1945. True, it was Easter Sunday, but the last thing Louis Boyle had on his mind was the resurrection of Jesus or church services. That’s because the young Marine was standing aboard the USS Sea Bass, one of 50,000 American soldiers, about to invade the island of Okinawa.
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Each Christmas, millions of holiday greeting cards are shared by friends and family members. Those of a spiritual nature usually feature angelic choirs, gift-bearing wise men, a baby in a manger, or some other fond image found in the Christmas stories of Matthew 2 and Luke 2.
But we never see Christmas cards based on Revelation’s version of the Christmas story…and we never will.