Even if you’re not a news junkie, by now you’ve probably heard about the Jussie Smollett story that has gone from hate crime to hoax.
Smollett, an actor on hit Fox TV show “Empire” claimed late last month he was attacked and assaulted by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, saying “This is MAGA country.”
The African-American actor who is homosexual said the two men wrapped a noose around his neck and covered him in bleach. Apparently, Smollett also tried to mislead police about the suspects, claiming the area around one attacker’s eyes were white skinned. Continue reading
Last September we were privileged to visit Rome as we concluded our Mediterranean anniversary trip.
We enjoyed wonderful food, touring the ancient sites and worshiping with the brethren. But among the highlights for us was visiting the Catacombs.
Led by a knowledgeable and interesting tour guide we descended from the warm air above, down a steep stairway and through narrow passageways, where I often had to duck my head, and into the cool and musty burial-place of early Christians and revered martyrs. Continue reading
In the neat little book, “Children’s Letters to God” compiled by Stuart Hample and Eric Marshall they share the directness, honesty and often humor when kids decide to address their Creator.
“Dear God, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? Neil.”
“Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it. Nan”
“Dear God. Thank you for the baby brother. But what I prayed for was a puppy. Joyce” Continue reading
President Trump has declared “A State of Emergency” on our Southern border in an effort to secure funding to build his promised border wall.
This declaration has further polarized Republicans and Democrats. Conservatives and Liberals. Pro-Trump and Non-Trump advocates. Of course, the media is having a field day with political pundits in their respective corners pontificating about the merits of this declaration or the lack thereof.
Predictably, many on social media are passionately sharing their views. Some with harsh and hateful language. Sadly some who profess allegiance to Christ have dimmed and diminished their light with vitriolic speech. Continue reading
Yesterday, Norma Jean and I visited the Wesley Chapel Church and heard my former summer intern Justin Lewis deliver a wonderful sermon on “The Two Builders.”
Typically when I think of a builder, I contrast it with a wrecker. Some people build up. Others tear down. Some edify. Others ruin. Some encourage. Others discourage.
However, Justin made the observation that “we’re all builders. Everyone is building something.” Continue reading
I recently read a story shared by Texas preacher Donnie Martin about Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “The Last Supper.” It is told that da Vinci looked for models to sit for Jesus and His disciples.
He found a handsome and innocent looking man in a choir in one of the churches in Italy. He portrayed him as Jesus in the painting. The man’s name was Pietro Bandinelli.
Years passed as da Vinci continued to work on the painting. He left the face of Judas Iscariot till the last. One day da Vinci went out into the streets of Rome and looked for the most forlorn person he could find. Continue reading
On this day, February 14, 270 A.D., a man by the name of Valentine, a religious leader in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed.
According to History.com, The Roman Emperor, known as Claudius the Cruel, “was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns.” Apparently, he was having a difficult time getting men to join his army because of their attachment to the wives and families. So, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.
According to one of the legends, Valentine, “realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.” Continue reading