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Archive for the ‘Evangelism’ Category

Come Forth…

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HT: The Point:

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A West Virginia woman is at the Cleveland Clinic after walking the line between life and death.

Doctors are calling Val Thomas a medical miracle. They said they can’t explain how she is alive.

They said Thomas suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours. At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, her heart stopped and she had no pulse. A respiratory machine kept her breathing and rigor mortis had set in, doctors said.

“Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled. Death had set in,” said son Jim Thomas.

They rushed her to a West Virginia hospital. Doctors put Thomas on a special machine which induces hypothermia. The treatment involves lowering the body temperature for up to 24 hours before warming a patient up.

After that procedure, her heart stopped again.

“She had no neurological function,” said Dr. Kevin Eggleston.

Her family said goodbye and doctors removed all the tubes.

However, Thomas was kept on a ventilator a little while longer as an organ donor issue was discussed.

Ten minutes later the woman woke up and started talking. (Emphasis mine)

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Written by taj

May 28, 2008 at 8:18 am

Posted in Evangelism, General, stories

I have a habit of opening doors all by myself

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You’ve heard the phrase — Boy, I walked right in to that one. And one of the better retorts I’ve heard runs something like, well I left the door wide open for you. I have a habit of opening doors all by myself. Just ask the guy I carpool with.

Or this guy I know named Andrew.

I left an off-the-cuff comment on Andrew’s blog* comparing the liberal / conservative tension with the tension between Wesleyanism and Calvinism. And Andrew, well, called me out and asked me to elaborate. So here goes… 😉

While there are certain things on which Wesleyans and Calvinists do not agree, the basic precept at the heart of the matter is a love for God and Jesus Christ and the desire to live according to His will. I can see a basic similarity between Democrats and Republicans — members of both are driven by a desire to do some good.

Unfortunately, when a member of one engages a member of the other in conversation, you tend to end up with something resembling Congress — lots of talk and little progress. When the time comes to interact, both behave like something more akin to the asinus side of the Equidae family.

But there are some, like another friend I know who happens to be a Calvinist, with whom I can dialog about our differences, and we can still part as friends.

There’s a moment in an old TV show called M*A*S*H that played near the end of the show’s run. The members of the 4077 are placing items into a time capsule. Father Mulcahy, the troop’s devout and constant padre, contributes a pair of boxing gloves. Here’s hoping future wars can be settled with these, he says.

It’s one of those gestures that almost reeks with cheery, naïve sentimentality, but I always liked it. Because I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with believing that John Wesley and John Calvin, had they known each other, could have sat down at a pub, had a beer, and walked out speaking of only the best about each other.

Congress has few people of such character, though I am sure they exist. They exist in church as well, though they are difficult to find. But, such is the extent of my intended metaphor; I leave to you, reader, to draw any other underlying connections.

*Typically, I would provide a link, but won’t in this case. His site is more of a personal network blog, and I do not want to infringe on his space.

Written by taj

March 31, 2008 at 12:23 am

Must Reads

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Undercover at Planned Parenthood – Follow the links in the post; you will not believe your ears.

Angelina Jolie on Iraq – Thoughtful and encouraging.  Here’s the money quote: “As for the question of whether the surge is working, I can only state what I witnessed: U.N. staff and those of non-governmental organizations seem to feel they have the right set of circumstances to attempt to scale up their programs. And when I asked the troops if they wanted to go home as soon as possible, they said that they miss home but feel invested in Iraq. They have lost many friends and want to be a part of the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible.”

33 Things on Evolution and Intelligent Design – One of the best seriously and open minded primers on this issue that I have read.

Bob Geldof on Africa and the President – If people could dialog, work together, and disagree with this much class, the world would be a much different place.

HTs: The Point and Libertas

Written by taj

February 28, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Some thoughts…

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I’m sitting here enjoying the gray dusk as it settles over Colorado’s first real snow of the season.  Just came across an old story idea I had actually forgotten I had.  I had even outlined the whole plot all the way up to the denouement, which is pretty good for me. I’m not very good with endings, though. 

Speaking of endings, Stephen King likes Frank Darabont’s tweaked ending to The Mist.  Not that this is a real surprise; Darabont handles King’s material better than most…with exception perhaps to William Goldman, but I know that’s debatable. 

“1-18-08” finally has a title (Cloverfield), and a new trailer.  It’s interesting to watch a film develop between ads—watch the teaser first, then notice how much more real the effects artists have rendered the Statue of Liberty’s head in the second trailer.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Paul the Apostle in Athens.  I started reading up on it, and my study has changed most of my preconceptions about the entire episode.  I want to try and get some thoughts down on that tonight. 

And finally—The word “evangelism” seems to taste more sour to me with each passing month.  I just feel like it makes me out to be some programmed robot out to convert despicable dissidents, and that just doesn’t paint a picture of Jesus Christ for me. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 

Written by taj

November 21, 2007 at 5:56 pm

If they keep quiet…

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Just saw this on The Point

On Wednesday, Taliban militants released a total of 12 South Korean hostages, part of the group of 19 Christian aid workers who have been held for nearly six weeks [two had been executed and two released prior to this].

The kidnappers freed the 10 women and two men in three separate groups, a day after South Korea announced its team of negotiators in Afghanistan had reached a deal with them.

[…]

Under the terms of an agreement reached on Tuesday. . . Seoul promised to halt all Christian missionary work in Afghanistan.

Somewhere in Seoul, a stone has just learned how to speak. 

Written by taj

August 30, 2007 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Evangelism

Growing by Doing

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There are many times when I sit down at the keyboard to write that I just end up sitting there, staring at the cursor.  I can’t write because I just don’t feel like it.  The words just aren’t there; the familiar rhythm of the narrative is nowhere to be found. 

The same thing, I believe, occurs in other disciplines, whether it’s reading the Bible or exercising your abs.  It’s why so many people drop their resolutions three weeks after New Year’s. 

A friend of mine approached me once, Bible in hand, a smile on his face, and he said, “You know, you can’t hunger for the Bible unless you read it.” 

Good point there.  Especially in light of the attention Mother Teresa’s legacy has received over the recent revelation of her struggles.  The struggle to believe is something every sincere believer faces at some point.  John Wesley suffered for years pondering whether the Gospel he preached every week was even true.  J.K. Rowling has illustrated her own struggle to believe through the final volume of Harry Potter.  I struggled similarly about three years into college.  And the difference, I believe, comes in the exercise of doing.  Just believing.  Just reading.  Just writing.  Usually, you can emerge on the other side free of the struggle, hungering for more. 

Remembering that encourages me.  After all, John Wesley made it to Aldersgate.  Harry made to King’s Cross.  I made it too, though the place doesn’t really have a name.  And I still struggle at times.  But I keep going.  Because when I do, like when I write, I can feel His pleasure. 

Written by taj

August 28, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Harry Potter and the Gospel of Matthew

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Dave Bruno at Christianity today takes a look at the use of the two biblical passages found in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows…

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (1 Corinthians 15:26)

…taking the position that this final volume of J.K. Rowling’s epic works as “a narrative exposition of the Gospel of Matthew 6:19-24.” 

Bruno makes some good points, particularly when he writes:

Now in the context of that Scripture passage [1 Cor. 15:26] it is the crucifixion and literal resurrection of Jesus that conquers death. Rowling and Dumbledore could have put anything on the Potters’ tombstone. They did not have to quote the Bible. They did not have to reference the New Testament passage that most explicitly connects Jesus’ death and resurrection with a genuine faith. But they did quote that very passage. She seems to me too careful a writer to make this reference without its fullest meaning in mind.

Perfect for anyone wanting to make a clear case for (or for anyone still unconvinced of) the series’ Christian significance. 

HT: The Point

Written by taj

August 6, 2007 at 2:43 pm