Many countries are at war today. Nations are bombed and communities are destroyed – communities that house thousands to millions of innocent people who suddenly lost homes and a reason to live because everything they knew and believed in disappeared in a snap. As the very government that vowed to protect them shatters against more powerful foreign military and troops, refugees have nowhere to go.
There are various community support groups and non-profit organizations that extend help to these people but what they need the most is not just food but shelter – shelter away from the war and chaos and a chance to rebuild their lives. States are torn over this matter. Some are open to receiving refugees while there are others that oppose, fearing for the safety and security of their own citizens. While many are left undecided, the church steps up and opens its door to scared and scarred refugees who lost everything they have in life through the sanctuary movement.
Now, in the wake of the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants, religious leaders across the West are resurrecting the almost 40-year-old movement, inspired by their predecessors’ desire to act on the social justice values taught
The world has never been fair. You know very well how different the life of one born in poverty and one born in luxury regardless if you lives centuries ago or living in the present. While you can’t choose your family, you have a chance to improve the quality of your life as you age especially if you are educated or talented with great gifts. However, the odds are high if you are poor because education is expensive and talents often need to be harnessed over time unless you are exceptionally good.
Although it is easier to discover raw talent now with the help of social media and there are more opportunities for work depending on your industry, the life of the poor remains the same. Most poor workers work on the most menial of jobs and get their hands dirty for a measly amount in return. And as such, they are trapped in a cycle of poverty throughout their lifetime and so on and so forth. In times of need, they may commit crimes to put food on the table or save the life of a loved one.
Crime and joblessness are directly related.
A person does the crime,
Religion played a big role in shaping the society we now know. From ancient times, there has always been the belief of the ultimate being that guides us all regardless of religion. These spiritual beliefs have helped us overcome dark times in history and strengthened our faith in religion.
But as our technology advances, we spend more time tinkering with technological gadgets rather than enhancing our spirituality. Praying each day becomes more of a burden and an after-taught for many. The population is growing but only a few go to churches to hear and celebrate the Holy Mass. Why does mankind put faith behind and put more importance on material things? Are we really done with religion now? Does it no longer hold any relevance in our modern lives?
Many Americans say they’re “spiritual but not religious.” A Barna study defines who they are, what their beliefs are, and how they live out their spirituality daily.
There are two types of “irreligious spirituality,” says the report, the second of a two-part exploration of faith and spirituality outside the church.
Thera are those who consider themselves “spiritual” but say their religious faith is not very important in their life, and
There is a saying that goes, “No man is an island”. And it is true in every sense of the word. We live in a social world. We have a relationship with everyone in our family, school/ work, community, and to the world at large. At times we are in harmony but conflicts may also arise. While personal differences are often the reason we may have relationship issues with someone, it may also be about religion or religious beliefs.
Religion has sparked countless wars over the centuries. And until today, religion still manages to disturb the world order even though most faith teaches to respect one another. Not surprising as well, many terrorists fight for their religion – as many of them are die-hard Muslims. It is also the reason for the U.S. travel ban since President Trump not only dislikes most Muslims but thinks they’re terrorists as well. And as such, it has fueled an ongoing yet often unspoken debate about one’s religion. So, has religious extremism blinded people and affected relationships for good?
The post 9/11 scenario changed the course of history causing disastrous consequences and now the leaders must come out with an alternative strategy to
The world has always been the home to a diverse set of people and our personal differences make life more colorful more often than not. Most of these differences do not matter because they are petty and can be easily ignored. Other times, they concern causes bigger than ourselves and also have a bigger impact on the world. Activism is born when that happens. And we often attribute this term to the world of politics where no friend or foe is constant and loyalties do not last long.
Activists are patriots who aren’t afraid to show to the world how much they care for their causes. And as such, you can see political activists holding protests and fighting off the military with their bare hands armed only with a courageous and selfless heart and their placards. Since there are major changes happening in the country (and in the world) these days, it is no longer surprising to see more and more activists go out into the streets and make their voices be heard. After all, who would’ve thought that a racist guy like Donald Trump would win the highest political seat in the land? Worse, he lived up to his …
Most couples can’t get enough of each other at the onset of their relationship. They always try to win the affection of their partner and mostly show only their good sides. But over time, they get to know the other person for who they really are. While many are willing to accept the good along with the bad, there are some who aren’t just open or mature enough to do that.
It is the reason why relationships end before they even blossom. Even married couples face such challenges that result in divorce. While technically not really a relationship issue, snoring has ended relationships as often as personal differences, fallouts, money issues and infidelity do. If the other person is a snorer, it is often impossible for your partner or spouse to enjoy a good night’s sleep. It can make them cranky throughout the day and not look forward to sleeping time.
“It was rough on our marriage, for sure,” says Ryan Weathers, owner of Mcmleague.com, who purchased the ZQuiet mouthpiece when the troubles persisted. “I never thought a mouthpiece would help, but I credit it with saving my marriage.”
A huge number of British couples sleep in separate beds
Research shows that a strong sense of spirituality can make you happier, healthier and more relaxed. Can it also improve your running?
Sometimes, as he runs the 6 or 8 or 10 miles along Michigan’s Lake St. Clair, Father Mike Byrnes feels the presence of a higher power. Peace washes over him. He senses his inner being, his soul enlarging. Time slows. Colors brighten. Problems drift away.
It doesn’t happen all the time. And he neither can predict this presence nor summon it. Yet when this feeling envelops him, it justifies any pain or sacrifice he’s made in his life and his running.
“Spirituality enhances my appreciation of my running, and running enhances my appreciation of my spirituality,” says Byrnes, a priest at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores, Mich.
Yes, running can be spiritual. Like Father Byrnes, many runners who meander dirt paths, inhale the scent of pine, feel the crunch of needles underfoot and watch rays of sunlight filter through the trees feel thankful for this creation, this planet we call home. He has never felt healthier, and the weight he’s lost (and the help of reviews from snoringmouthpiecereview.org) has enabled him to …
In university, author Patrick Glynn, a Harvard Ph.D, followed English philosopher Bertrand Russell in viewing man as “a curious accident in a backwater,” the inexplicable by-product of a random universe. Today he is a Christian, and science no longer supports atheism with its old enthusiasm either. “The totality of the evidence as I understood it in the mid-1970s suggested one conclusion [atheism],” he writes. “Today the evidence suggests quite a different one.”
He has built his book on the “anthropic principle,” a term coined by Cambridge University astrophysicist Brandon Carter in 1973. Mr. Carter used it to describe a phenomenon which previously had been only dimly perceived, namely the fact that all the seemingly arbitrary and unrelated constants in physics have one strange thing in common. They are precisely the values needed if the goal is a universe capable of producing life.
The existence and action of gravitational and electromagnetic force were known, of course, but simply as separate “constants.” Then came the insight that, in accordance with the anthropic principle, any variation in the gravitational constant in relation to electromagnetism would have resulted in a universe with no intermediate stars like our sun–only cooler “red” or hotter “blue” ones …
That’s a strange question, but for 35 years of my life this was not a question but my belief, In 1946 the polio virus turned my life upside down during the early years of my ministerial training. Okay, God wanted me to have polio. Fine, that was acceptable, but what did God have in store for me with this plan? in 1957 the ordination council examined me and recommended me to clergy status. However, no church or missionary organization wanted me – until The Christian League for the Handicapped director wrote and said,”We want YOU!” Okay, God, now I know why your plan for me included a disability, so I could be more effective working with the population of disabled in our country – correct?
The next 45 years challenged my thinking. I went to my church. I returned to college for a degree in psychology. As my ministry kept me in the trenches with those whose lives had been traumatized and trashed by disability, there was that ever present gnawing inside me. How about these folk? Had God planned their lives, for in many cases was nothing but misery, sickness, and death? The more these thoughts came over me the more unhappy I became with the idea that God plans our lives. Hundreds of times the question was asked of me, “Why did God do this to me? Is God punishing me for something? Did I deserve this?” The usual answers forthcoming from me were: 1) God has something for you to do that requires this; 2) God makes no mistakes; and, 3) In eternity justice will reign.
Over the years I sat by and watched scores of persons with disabilities decide that God was not just, they had done nothing to offend their Creator, and in turn they became sour, hurt and offended with God. Why the airline crashes? Why the starving children and disease infestations? Why the raging calamities caused by weather conditions? God was now on the hook and I tried desperately to unhook him. There was only one way possible and that was to change my belief. God did not have a plan, but rather set his creation and creatures into a system of natural laws, and when this kid tangled with the polio virus it was under the direction of these laws and my paralysis was the result.
But that wasn’t my only health issue. I had encountered sleeping issues due to snoring for quite some time. I had looked to find out if I had sleep apnea, but really couldn’t afford to pay for a specialized sleep doctor. So, I took to the web to find anti snoring devices that might help me. This site pointed me to snoring mouthpieces, which ended up all but solving my problem. My sleep got so much better. I was more awake during the day.
Suddenly I was at peace. Continue reading “Disability Never Shook His Faith”
Discussing religion can take more than a little diplomacy. If you don’t keep an open mind, you haven’t got a prayer.
WHILE SPENDING A WEEKEND in the country not long ago, I slipped out to an Episcopal service on Sunday morning while my hosts and their other guests were still asleep. When I returned, everybody was up sipping coffee and deeply into their worship of the morning papers. Immediately, I sensed my absence had been discussed. This suspicion was confirmed soon enough.
“What did you learn in church?” Bart asked in the singsong voice adults most often use when addressing toddlers.
“Forty days have passed since Easter,” I replied. “The priest spoke about Christ’s Ascension.”
“Did Jesus float up gradually, like a hot-air balloon, or did he blast off like the space shuttle?” Jane wondered aloud.
Hardly a promising start to an enlightening conversation on spirituality. So, doing what sometimes works best when a religious discussion seems headed nowhere, I answered her question with one of my own: What’s for breakfast?
As religious intolerance goes, my friends’ sarcasm was no burning at the stake. Nor was it exactly a surprise. Quite frequently, in fact, when someone learns that I go …
Think some of us are just born tougher? Not so. No matter how hard the blow, you can learn to rebound. These people faced down misfortune–and came out stronger
When Suzy Kellett’s quadruplets were born, she braced herself for a major life change. But the new mother barely had time to bond with her babies before her husband, overwhelmed, walked out. Kellett, 31 years old and with few job skills, had little choice but to leave her home in Sun Valley, ID, and move back to the Midwest to live with her parents.
Twenty-four years later, the memory of that arduous August day is still a vivid one. At the airport in Idaho, Kellett felt numb. Because she couldn’t hold all four babies on her lap, she had to pass out three of them to people sitting around her. After landing in Chicago, she collected her brood at the gate, only to have one of her sons mark the occasion by projectile vomiting on a fellow passenger.
“That’s when I lost it,” Kellett says, still wincing at the image. “My uncle just looked at me and said, `Better you than me, kid.’ And that summed up my life: Better you …
If you ask Reverend Donald Wright what you need to do to live a long, healthy, happy life, he’ll give you this advice:
* Take care of your body by running and eating a healthy diet.
* Nourish your mind by staying positive, joyful and relaxed.
* Care for your soul by praying, attending spiritual services, reading religious writings and appreciating the world’s natural beauty.
That’s the formula that has worked for him for 35 years. Wright, chaplain of the police department in La Grange, Ky., knows it works, because whenever he slacks off in one of those areas, his energy wanes, his mood blackens, and his running suffers.
In fact, while many runners might benefit from soul-searching, Wright says many religious leaders could benefit just as much from more exercise. Burnout is high among pastors. And Wright is convinced that his running and healthy eating have helped him stay energetic.
“Running replenishes me,” he says. “When I run, I rarely think about problems. I think, ‘Wow, this is a beautiful day, and I feel good. It’s a respite. Running cleanses my mind and provides me with a fresher, more spiritual outlook.”–A.B.
Is Running a Religion?
Some people say running …
While it’s no surprise to the devout that prayer can be a lifesaver, researchers are concluding that spirituality does indeed play a role in recovering from adversity.
People who pray are healthier, calmer, and, yes, more resilient than people who don’t, says Peterson. A study he conducted of 150 coronary-bypass patients found that those who prayed were less depressed after surgery than those who did not. “Figuring out the `why’ is the next step,” he says.
Irene Hale Brodie doesn’t need any professors to tell her about the power of faith. It has been an unwavering presence in her life ever since her childhood on an Arkansas farm, where she picked cotton and listened to stories about slavery told by her grandfather.
“I had a brother who died at the age of three,” Brodie says. “That’s when I learned that we had to be accepting of God’s will. It was my first traumatic experience.”
Sadly, it wasn’t her last. Brodie was happily married and living in Robbins, IL, a suburb of Chicago, when tragedy struck. In 1966, her husband died from the complications of a heart attack. Several years later, lupus was diagnosed in her 13-year-old daughter, who, at …
To the evolutionists and their faithful in the media and the education system, fossils have always presented a problem they don’t like to discuss publicly. Their central claim, of course, is that all the species of nature came about by accident. By freak occurrence some idiosyncrasy in the body of one individual conferred upon it a biological advantage, transmitted to all its descendants. So they survived and those without it became extinct. Thus over millions of generations such freak occurrences produced the different species.
Now for this to be confirmed, there would have to be countless fossil remains. of what are called transitional species things that were; for example, part bird and part dinosaur, representing the in-between specimen as the one turned into the other. The awkward problem has been that nobody could find any, though they’ve been looking f6r about 150 years.
Then in China several years ago came this astounding discovery : a fossil that had the body of a bird and the tail and feet of a dinosaur. National Geographic called in three top paleontologists to vouch for it at a press conference, one of them Philip Currie, director of Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum. A big splash …
The print news media seem to be ushering in 2015 with the discovery of religion. The National Post before New Year’s carried a two-page spread on the turn of professional athletes to God. The Edmonton Journal reports “New thirst for spirituality.”
“Quest for spirituality world wide,” reports a Calgary Herald headline. “Counsellors noticing increased interest in life’s meaning as the world spins toward the millennium,” a subheading adds.
Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail tells us that “increasing numbers of people are looking for their spiritual roots.” But “they don’t want the kind of church they left years ago,” adds a subheadline, and another declares: “Jesus Christ makes a comeback in a new-time religion.”
As such articles frequently point out, this interest in religion (usually called “spirituality” to distinguish it from what goes on in churches) is quite a recent phenomenon. Four decades ago, American theologian Paul Tillich wrote that the words “spiritual” and “spirituality” had vanished from western culture and would never return.
“God is dead” theology, rooted in Nietzscheism, enjoyed a great vogue, especially in seminaries. Even within this decade pseudo-scientist broadcaster Carl Sagan routinely assured his television audience of the irreversible triumph of science and technology.
We are …
Despite the bad reputation Christianity, Islam and Judaism are getting these days through things like the shooting of abortionists, suppression of women and assassination of politicians, he writes, “sensible people in all religions” are turning back to their sacred texts like the Bible.
He quotes a Roman Catholic theologian who has taught at Rutgers and Princeton as reporting “a tremendous interest in liturgy and ritual among students. Students are also fascinated by moral orthodoxy in matters of sex and sexuality — tremendously hungry for things that give more shape to life.”
This is all very well, Mr. John Bentley Mays comments, but “the danger is the temptation to shift too far the other way, to go for what promises to be unchanging, rock solid. That can go to fundamentalism which risks perversion into violence.”
Which of course raises a crucial question. What exactly does he mean by “fundamentalism,” and how does it differ from the religion of “sensible people?” Belief in the “rock solid” is undesirable, but how exactly does one believe in the non-rock-solid? The only admissible beliefs in the Mays canon, it seems, are such as make no presumptuous claims that there really is anything to believe in. …
It was 46 years ago this month that we celebrated our first “Christian” Christmas. We had had prior Christmases: raucous, boozey, sometimes lachrymose events complete with singing, laughter, tears–and worry. We could never afford what we spent. But those were pagan Christmases; this was different. My wife and I had concluded that the event Christmas is supposed to commemorate had in fact occurred. It was not merely a charming story; it had actually and literally happened.
What brings back memories of that Christmas of 1952 is all the publicity surrounding the 100th anniversary of another birth, that of Clive Staples Lewis. Full-page newspaper articles, magazine spreads, a television documentary, Anthony Hopkins’s highly-rated movie, all have celebrated an unpretentious Oxford professor of literature, dead for 35 years. It was this same C.S. Lewis who, aided by some of our friends, caused our Christmases to change.
We did not first meet him through his “Chronicles of Narnia,” the books whereby our children and their children would encounter him in later years. In 1952 he had barely begun writing these. Our initial introduction to him was a little red booklet disarmingly entitled “Broadcast Talks,” the text of a wartime series on …