There are so many stories of Christmas. … And then there’s the one where the overly sincere parents try to bludgeon gratitude into their children.
Josef Rasheed is the regional coordinator for Africa with Serve Globally. In that role he facilitates, coaches, and serves as a resource for missionaries/global personnel, national partner organizations, and Covenant churches.
Long before the 3-M company invented Post-it Notes, God was already prompting his people to jot down reminders of important events. The Hebrew word zakhor, which means remember, appears 169 times in the Hebrew Bible. The call to remember, along with the admonition not to forget, appears so frequently in the book of Deuteronomy that some scholars say the text puts forth a theology of memory for people of faith.
’Tis the season to give thanks. It’s the time of year when we ask each other, “What are you thankful for?” And studies indicate that 78 percent of Americans say they felt strongly grateful in the past week.
A man in my hometown recently filed a lawsuit against the instructor of his sword-fighting class because, while demonstrating a particular move, the instructor accidentally stabbed him in the eye. When I read that story in the news, my first thought was, Oh, man, that would preach.
Most of my days start with a mindless pattern of taking care of the basics: brush the teeth, shower, prepare, and relax with a nice cup of coffee. Then I decide what the day will be like. If tomorrow happens, I’ll repeat those mundane actions—unless there is a reason for a change. I give little thought to the possibility of my routines being unexpectedly disrupted.
Cancer is the illness that seems to touch everyone—most of us have a friend or loved one who has traveled this journey. An experience with cancer often forces us to confront mortality and what matters in life while giving us time to consider those questions. These Covenanters graciously share a glimpse of their experience with “the big C.”
Last summer I worked my way through a massive biography of Thomas Cranmer, the archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, his ill-fated son Edward VI, and, briefly, Henry’s oldest daughter, Mary.
A caveat: I know and adore the authors of Impossible Love. I used to work with Craig and Médine Keener when we were all associated with Eastern University near Philadelphia. So if you’re looking for an objective, dispassionate review of this book, then mine will likely not do much for you.
If you’ve participated in a leadership conference, team building event, or spiritual direction retreat in recent years, you’ve probably heard talk of the Enneagram. It’s a frequent topic among my friends and colleagues, both in casual conversation and in discussing our work in ministry.
Robert L. Owens has been serving in ministry in the Covenant for the past forty-four years as a pastor and most recently as the superintendent of the Southeast Conference. He retired in August.