Sometimes the news of the world can take the hope of Easter
right out of you. Sometimes it's hard to believe in the resurrection.
And yet, this is how it happens: a woman, 38 years old, is
diagnosed with breast cancer and has to have a total mastectomy. Two years
later the cancer comes back, and her doctor schedules her for another
When mission organizations send out promotional
materials, they don't usually include missionary ruminations like Heather Hendrick's. She exposes her faith, doubt, frustration and hope with equal courage.
I came away from Heaven Is for Real thinking that either Colton Burpo was carried in an out-of-body experience to a biblical wax museum or he's been channeling images from his father's sermons back to his credulous parents.
For several years I was an associate pastor on the staff of a large congregation. I often found myself preaching on the Sunday following Easter, a Sunday that's sometimes called "low Sunday." In the rhythm of life among God's people, low Sunday is the calm after the storm.
A study of HIV-positive men and women showed that those who engaged in spiritual practices had a two to four times greater chance of survival than those who didn’t. The researchers began interviewing people at the mid-stage of their disease. The researchers asked participants whether they prayed, meditated, went to religious services, were grateful to God for what they had, or believed that God could forgive them for wrongdoing. The findings showed that the way people focus on the meaning of life and relate to God can affect health, even in the case of HIV. Roughly one-fifth of the participants engaged in “positive spiritual reframing” of their disease, seeing it as a way God was using them, for example. These people had a survival rate four times greater than that of the others (Atlantic, May 6).