A familiar Scripture passage comes to mind when I ponder how to pray for the upcoming federal elections. According to Matthew 6:9-10, Jesus identifies us as people or citizens of God’s kingdom, and as the children or family of God. In our identity as citizens of God’s kingdom family, we are invited to pray for our nation — for his kingdom to come and his will to be done here in Canada as it is in heaven.
Life & Faith
All of Joseph Gudo’s hard work was summed up in one small plate of food. He’d laboured for months in the field and uncountable hours in the kitchen all in service to this dish—a neat pile of mashed cowpeas (or black-eyed peas), buoyed by a bold pinch of cayenne pepper and dressed up with pops of colourful diced tomatoes and green peppers. This was everything he’d been working for, his heart and soul on a plate.
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There seems to be a definite dearth of common sense among homo sapiens. Humour aside, we face a very serious and expanding problem among us, a lack of wisdom. My seminary professor Tremper Longman III said that wisdom is a knowing how – that is, knowing how to navigate life.
As we begin, full disclosure: although a Mennonite Brethren pastor, by spiritual birthright I am very much a Pentecostal. By this, I mean that I was raised in the Pentecostal church, was born-again and baptized in the Pentecostal church, had powerful encounters with the Holy Spirit in the Pentecostal church, went to Pentecostal bible college, and pastored in Pentecostal churches for thirteen years. This was my world until seven years ago when the Lord led me to leave behind the Pentecostals and join the Mennonite Brethren.
“Thank you for not leaving us alone,” one woman told Paul Shetler Fast, MCC’s health coordinator and former representative in Haiti who was present for the Aug. 31 distribution. “We’ve felt very alone these last days waiting after the earthquake, hoping someone would come, hoping someone would not forget us.”
Today the word reconciliation doesn’t so much bring me hope as it does hurt. Over the summer, we have awoken to numerous gruesome discoveries on the grounds of former Canadian residential schools. How can we as a country reconcile hundreds of years of inflicting pain and suffering on the Indigenous people…
The more I ponder the negative impact of the pandemic on the church, the more deeply I am convinced that the church suffered its greatest blows not from outside forces but rather from internal conflict. Most churches witnessed divergent pockets of stakeholders anchoring themselves to convictions around defining the pandemic…
I know, everyone who serves in a pastoral role has been a pandemic pastor for a while now. But I am a sucker for a strong opening line. And I feel like I can say it a little more emphatically than most. You see, I am pastoring a community I have never known outside of the pandemic.
Samir Menassa remembers when his convenience store used to attract many customers. Located among pubs and restaurants in Beirut, Lebanon, the store was a convenient place for people to purchase a few things they needed as they strolled through the area.
That memory blew up along with a massive explosion of ammonium nitrate…
“What do you do with the mad you feel?” was a familiar song on Mr. Roger’s TV show in the 1970s. His iconic cardigan and the little red trolley were not the only notable things about him. Fred had profound and honest insights into our life struggles, mirrored by his Christian faith.
Full disclosure, my friends – I have times when I do not experience contentment. I demonstrate moments of discontent. However, I do eventually land in a space I call contentment equilibrium. Like you, I am on a journey to a spiritual satisfaction in Christ. The following is what I have learned about contentment. It has enabled me to better walk this journey…
To the Anabaptist Mennonites and Brethren in Christ around the globe
Peace and grace from your brothers and sisters gathered around Global Anabaptist Health Network,
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant disruption, pain, and loss.
We mourn with those who have lost loved ones and grieve the loss of livelihood for others.