God uses the traits we dislike as well as our weaknesses to create something great, beyond our abilities and imagination. This is the message that pervades the pages of "The Woman with the Book", the biography of the missionary Gladys Aylward.
God is never the one to leave. He is the one who is abandoned. Even when Scripture describes Him as turning His face away, we understand that this is in fact the reluctant and painful recognition of man's decision to go beyond the point of no return in his relationship with God.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had...
Forgiveness is the central idea in Christianity that sets it apart from other religions.
Benjamin Solomon Carson is the famous American neurosurgeon who, in 1987, became the first to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head.
I notice people, and passionately collect their stories. My favourite stories include those small cracks that allow one to peek inside another soul, those moments when their voice is almost imperceptibly altered, the eyes light up for a reason I do not know, and their gestures are unexpected.
Contrary to one's initial impression, vigilance is not the main theme of Jesus' parables of "absence and expectation." Absence is central to these stories, because it is absence which enriches them, rather than impoverishing them. Absence is not a shortage, a gap, or a sign of non-existence—it is a catalyst.
Some Christians venerate the Virgin Mary, multiplying her attributes and exaggerating her qualities to the point of deification. Other Christians go to the opposite extreme and trivialise Mary's personality and contribution, barely recognising her basic qualities.
The stakes are high when it comes to identifying the one to whom we should pray, and we can discover who by answering an apparently simple question: Can we expect prayers to be heard no matter who we address them to?
The question in the title is a protest which expresses a fair amount of suspicion towards God. It is a barely concealed condemnation of God and His actions, the strange rebellion of a world that sees itself as morally superior to God. People forget Scripture's words in the book of Job: Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing (Job 36:18, RSV).