Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Damsel and the Villain: 7-Minute Spoken Word

The Damsel and the Villain

This is a story about a hero and a damsel, a villain and a scandal. Relive the gospel story through spoken word.

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Date: August 16, 2017 at 05:03PM
From: “Desiring God”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2fMYcvX
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Desiring God Blog

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Ephesians 1:3-6

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

NIV Listen

Date: August 15, 2017 at 11:00PM
From: “Daily Manna”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2uQ3UQl
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Daily Manna

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A Deeper Debate over Drums in Church

Native Christians still wrestle with how their culture fits into their churches.

More than 20 years ago, Mohawk musician Jonathan Maracle says, God told him to use his drum—an instrument used in traditional religious ceremonies—while playing at a conference for First Nation Christians.

The ensuing performance spawned his music ministry, Broken Walls. And it also sparked a controversy.

The next week, when he brought out the drum to play for another community of Native Christians, he was asked to leave the village.

“Religion had come in and taught my people that the drum was evil,” Maracle said. “I had no idea how difficult of a task I had been handed. Nobody was using the drum to worship Jesus at this time in 1995.”

When white missionaries first spread the gospel to indigenous tribes, they often did so in ways that undermined tribal language and culture. Almost all Native Christian leaders agree on that.

But leaders remain divided over what contextualizing their faith should look like—and what role sacred objects, like drums, have in Christian worship.

“There were lots of mistakes that happened historically in Native mission work. But you don’t solve one problem by creating another one,” said Craig Smith, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and president of Tribal Rescue Ministries. “That is what the movement is doing.” He organized a statement for the Christian and Missionary Alliance to warn his fellow Native Christians about “false teaching,” specifically around traditional sacred objects used in a Christian context.

Maracle’s drum playing began during a period when Native American communities were reexamining their own cultural practices—a soul-searching catalyzed by the New Age community’s interest …

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Date:
From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2w1Q80A
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christianity Today

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The Prophetic Witness of Whose Streets?

Posted on 08/16/17

The Prophetic Witness of Whose Streets?

Hate wins.

It’s tempting to believe that statement to be true after this past weekend in Charlottesville, Va., where a scheduled and approved white-supremacist rally erupted in violence, leaving many injured and one counter-protester dead. Yet as I followed the reports, my mind also turned to Whose Streets?, a new documentary about the uprisings that followed the 2014 police killing of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. There was hate in Ferguson too, but Whose Streets? also captures its opposite: love.

Talking about his experience in the midst of the Ferguson protests, one unnamed activist said this: “Lot of people didn’t do it justice when they put it in their timeline. Because when you’re in the heart of it, when you get to see the faces, then you feel that black love.”

Directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis, Whose Streets? puts us in the heart of it. The documentary includes first-person interviews with a handful of activists, but its real power lies in its extensive use of camera-phone video footage, some taken during the hours Brown’s body was left on the street and others from the ensuing days and nights of protests. On one chilling occasion, residents standing behind a chain-link fence are told by law-enforcement officials via loudspeaker to return to their homes. When one of them shouts, “This is my backyard!” they’re fired upon with gas canisters, smoke enveloping the screen. In these immediate, visceral images, we feel the hate that the protestors faced in the form of a massive military presence (dogs, trucks, weapons), one that was notably absent from Charlottesville.

At the same time, we also see flickers of love, as when onlookers gather the wailing mother of Michael Brown into their arms at the scene of his death, or when protesters demanding an inquiry into his killing walk arm in arm, forming a united, sacrificial front in the face of rubber bullets and tear gas. Yes, there was property destruction and looting as well—that’s what most news reports focused on—but Whose Streets? reveals much more than that surface anger. In many ways the documentary is a reminder of Nicholas Wolterstorff's contention that justice and love go hand in hand.

After the violent weekend in Charlottesville, though, we have to wonder: is it really possible to protest in love? Can anger and indignation be directed toward good? Perhaps the closest model we have for this is that of Jesus disrupting the marketplace outside the temple—delivering, in the words of New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan, “a protest from the legal and prophetic heart of Judaism against Jewish religious cooperation with Roman imperial control.” Christ’s actions were prophetic. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus quotes both Isaiah and Jeremiah, noting that what God had intended as a “house of prayer” had been transformed into a “den of robbers.”

Prophets and justice have long gone hand in hand. During the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. stirringly referenced Amos, pledging to “work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Can something like Whose Streets? be prophetic in a similar way today?

Writing for TC in 2015, in the wake of Ferguson and camera-phone footage depicting the deaths of other black men at the hands of police, Kimberly Davis described the use of camera phones as a “measure of justice,” though “partial, at best.” Whose Streets? captures both the effectiveness and limitations of this technology as a tool for justice. There is much to the story that the footage doesn’t cover, a context and structure that Whose Streets? lacks. Yet there is also a cumulative truth to the images we see, a way for us to experience how a neighborhood was turned, in the words of one activist, into an “unseen war.”

It’s in the seeing and naming that Whose Streets? is prophetic, a stark witness to oppression, a witness that makes room both for Christ’s righteous anger and his unfailing love. “Now, justice and mercy may be taking on a new and different meaning,” Davis wrote for TC in 2015. “It is not simply about criminal justice, although in our system and in our society that is essential and it breaks my heart when it is denied. It is about the knowing. It is about seeing with our own eyes, if we can stand to look at it. It is about the social—how communities come together to protest and reform, to force people to hear us. Finally, to hear and see us.”

Jesus sees and hears. Whose Streets? does as well.

 

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Date: August 16, 2017 at 07:35AM
From: “Think Christian Articles”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2uPjawP
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Think Christian

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Nothing Can Replace Bible Memory

We can’t just stick a Bible on our nightstand or in our pocket and expect to know God better. You need to let his word sink deep in your heart and soul.

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Date: August 16, 2017 at 06:00AM
From: “Desiring God”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2uHO8Lg
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Desiring God Blog

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Cover Story: Facing Our Legacy of Lynching

How a memorial could help lead America—and Christians—to repentance from a dark history.

In 1902 a black man named Alonzo Tucker was lynched from a bridge in the coastal town of Coos Bay, Oregon, a few hours south of my home. It is the only lynching on record in the state, and the limited known details were enough to catch my throat. Tucker had been accused of assaulting a white woman, and an angry mob had formed to take his life in the streets. He was jailed, partly to protect him from the crowds. But at some point, he panicked and somehow escaped, hiding for a night beneath some docks.

In the morning, a band of men found Tucker and shot him as he tried to run away. Tucker may have died from his wounds—no one knows for certain—but to make sure he was dead and to make a spectacle of the event, the crowd hung Tucker from the Fourth Street Bridge, right in the heart of that small Oregon coal-mining town.

I stumbled upon Tucker’s story while researching racial injustice in Oregon and couldn’t get it out of my mind. We had a family beach trip coming up, and I told my husband we needed to detour through Coos Bay to visit the site where Tucker died. He drove to the hardware store, bought some lumber, and made a large white cross to bring with us.

Once in town, I couldn’t find the Fourth Street Bridge. My husband dropped me at the local history museum and took our kids to play in a park. I awkwardly brought up the lynching with the man at the museum, who knew exactly what I was referring to. He gave me as much information as he had, making copies from local history books. I asked him if the museum would ever consider making an exhibit about Tucker, but the man shook his head sadly. “We just don’t have enough information” he said. “There isn’t even a single photo …

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Date:
From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2wPpCVT
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christianity Today

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I’m a Rare Breed: An Elite Chess Player Who’s Open About His Faith

Why I follow Jesus publicly, even when people warn that my career will suffer.

On the small planet where elite chess players dwell, very few people worship Jesus Christ. If anyone discovers that you’re one of those “superstitious,” “narrow-minded idiots,” you’re likely to see nasty comments accumulate on your Facebook fan page. On a regular basis, I receive emails from strangers lecturing me about the dangers of following Jesus. Out of pity or disgust, they wonder how I, the world’s second-ranked chess player, can be so “weak-minded.”

I have been assured that identifying openly as a Christian will interfere with sponsorship, support, and invitations to events. I have been told that spending time reading my Bible, praying, and going to church will inevitably weaken my performance. People plead with me to at least keep quiet. They say thanking God publicly makes me look ridiculous.

So why did I make such a risky move?

Playing it Safe

The Philippines, where I grew up, is a country of God-seekers. People mention God all the time, in just about every context. Everyone believes he exists, even if they’re unwilling to claim much more than that.

As a child, I was informed that you needed to be a good person so that God would give you certain blessings, like food and jobs—which are very important in such a poor country. But this confused me, because it seemed like the bad people received more than the good people. I knew of many famous crooks who went to church, wore religious symbols, and got tattoos of Jesus or a crucifix—and they were pretty rich.

Clearly, many popular beliefs and practices were less a matter of worshiping God than of appeasing the god of luck. One legend had it that if you rubbed a particular part of a particular statue, …

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Date:
From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2weFQtT
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christianity Today

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To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company, works with Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). For every dollar donated, the Feed America network of food banks secures and distributes 11 meals to people facing hunger.

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Commentary: It’s Not Only Bullies Who Boast

We’re too quick to ignore one of Paul’s most persistent warnings.

This is a good year to think about boasting. That’s true for at least three reasons. Trivially, because American public discourse involves an unusual amount of boasting. (We’ll fix health care for good, or crush ISIS, or “make America great again.”) Historically, because this is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which Martin Luther (among others) saw as a call for the church to boast not in works, but solely in the Cross of Christ. Theologically, because the contemporary church hardly ever mentions the concept—even though the apostle Paul mentioned it dozens of times in just a few short letters.

The problem could be our fairly childish perspective on what counts as “boasting.” To modern ears, it sounds like a six-year-old saying, “My dad is bigger than your dad,” or a professional wrestler’s trash-talk, or perhaps a presidential Twitter feed. So when we hear Paul railing against boasting in anything other than Christ crucified, we might assume it doesn’t apply to us. Boasting? I haven’t done that since “I’m the king of the castle.”

In the ancient world, however, boasting was not just child’s play; it was deadly serious. You would boast as you went into battle, reassuring yourself that victory was certain. Goliath did it to David: “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field” (1 Sam. 17:44, ESV throughout). Messengers from enemy nations did it to Jerusalem: One warning mocked “the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine” (Isa. 36:12). This sort of boasting has provided iconic moments in the history …

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Date:
From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2weTsVY
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christianity Today

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