But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Galatians 5:22,23, NLT
I am posting this week's Christian Carnival from Oaxaca, Mexico, a land of many languages and cultures. I'm using Paul's nine evidences of the transformed life as a way of forcing some structure on your entries.
You'll find a section for each "fruit of the Spirit" rendered in English, in Greek, and in one of the indigenous languages of Mexicothis last accompanied by a semi-literal translation.
I hope this serves as a reminder that we will stand before Jesus with men and women from every nation and tribe and people and language. (Rev. 7:9) Pray that the Word of Life may very soon reach into every dark corner of the earth.
Teddy bears are big at Bear Witness, where BearyAnn Pawter writes about the constant watchfulness of God over his sheep. When I was young I couldn't understand the words "the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want"why wouldn't I want the Lord? Through the musing of Ken Davis, a Saturday morning cartoon, and my wandering mind, I look at the 23rd Psalm.
The Doctor Is In: take a seat in his comfortable waiting room, read his excellent blog, and the Doc will have a look at that rash in just a minute. I gave Dr. Bob a spot under love because of his love for straight talk and Truth. In Moby Dickering, Dr. Bob shines light on the use of postmodern relativism in media and political discourse, by looking at the way Big Numbers are sometimes used to advance Big Lies. I've added Dr. Bob to my blog roll.
MicahGirl, like many of us, has marveled at how John Paul II allowed God such freedom to use his life. In Emerging Priest Karol Wojtyla, she looks at the hard choices made early on that established a lifelong pattern of obedience.
Chad Hamilton of PlaidBerry has also been thinking about JP II and his love for the unlovable. Chad calls this A Transcendent and Divine Sort of Detachment: Considering the reasons Pope John Paul II had such a huge impact on a wide spectrum of believers [and] referring to C.S. Lewis' Four Loves, it may have been attributable to a divine sort of love that is detached from one's own self interests.
The Bloke has moved! Note this new URL for ...in the outer..., and while you're at it, take time to read his contribution to this week's Carnival: How Important is Friendship? My pastor's Sunday sermon spurred some reflection on the connections between friendships, being friends, loving God, loving one another and spirituality.
A great many people are uncertain about Terri Schiavo, including Jeremy, the Parableman. I have really mixed feelings about much of what Christians have said regarding Terri Schiavo, and this post explains why I disagree very strongly with what many Christians were saying, despite the fact that I still have serious worries about what was done to her. Read more at Reflections on the Schiavo Case.
For Bonnie, who writes at Off the Top, the crux of the Terri Schiavo debate is the crucial issue of personhood. What exactly is it, and had Terri Schiavo lost it, as so many have claimed? In On Terri Schiavo and Personhood, Bonnie argues that something more basic than volition is at the core of what it means to be human.
The World of Sven is trying Something New and Hopefully Exciting: We often blog about some quite deep and often confusing theological issues, but I've decided to embark on a new series on my blog that will simply tell the story of Jesus according to Mark's Gospel. This post is the overview and introduction, and the first actual blog about Jesus is here. I anticipate that it will take 3-4 months to get through Mark, and would dearly love others to chip in with some comments.
The Politickal Animal comes through with a humbling meditation on the joys of God's mercy and forgiveness, Have Mercy On... Psalm 51 exposes the broken heart of the repentant sinner, and offers a word of hope and grace to him or her, from God.
Aspiring writer Cindy Swanson of Notes in the Key of Life contributes a review of Christian fiction author Liz Curtis Higgs' latest book in a series based on the Jacob/Leah/Rachel story, but set in 18th-century Scotland.
I don't know where Marla Swoffer gets her energy. Didn't she just have a new baby, like, yesterday? Marla finds joy everywhere, and one of her joys is turning people on to the Myers-Briggs personality indicator. In Calling All Personality Types, Marla details my new blog (typeblogs.com) which blogrolls and aggregates bloggers by their Myers-Briggs four-letter personality type. It's a great way to connect Christians and non-Christians based on temperament, and will hopefully be the start of some life changing cross-blog talk!
At Praise 117, Paula took me up on my suggestion and wrote a timely post on the ever-popular church missions trip, Why Send Me?. Timely, because students are already raising money for summer missions service. Before getting that passport and updating those innoculations, read Why Send Me?.
Karen Marie of From the Anchor Hold brings a wonderful reflection on the eucharist called And We Recognised Him. A commentary on Luke 24:13-36 (The Walk to Emmaus). As the disciples walking to Emmaus recognised Jesus, in the breaking of the bread, so we have, in every generation, recognised Him, resurrected in our midst, in the breaking of the bread.
On of the great things about the web is the opportunities it creates to learn at the feet of the godly men and women of ages past. The words of Martin Luther are everywhere on the web, and we can thank John Schroeder of Blogotional for contributing an excellent post called Martin Luther on Prayer. Quoting Luther: "No one can believe how powerful prayer is and what it can effect, except those who have learned it by experience. It is important when we have a need to go to God in prayer. I know, whenever I have prayed earnestly, that I have been heard and have obtained more than I prayed for. God sometimes delays, hut He always comes." Amen.
Robin Bayne at Between Sundays has an excellent post about life in perspective called A Lesser Ring. Since writing for God became more important than writing for myself, I no longer feel the need to grab that proverbial brass ring. And amen, again.
Ish of The Path has written from his experience about The Sting of Rejection. This post touches on a time when I was not chosen, or neglected when others were chosen. Contemplating on this dark time, I look past it to the Lord's promise that he will never leave us nor forsake us. What a wonderful promise that is.
Martin LaBar of Sun and Shield shares an interpretation of Psalm 84:11, his life verse and the name of his blog, in Sun, Shield, Some Thoughts. For the Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
Byron Harvey is fed up with Christian hype, and he isn't going to take it any more! You go down some internet back alley and end up in a place called A ticking time blog and you just know you're in the danger zone. Byron makes good sense, though, and in The Laodicea Chronicles II: Hyping Jesus, he wonders about the incessant hype that we seem to feel is so necessary in order to promote the gospel.
Catez Stevens at AllThings2All (one of my favorite bloggers) has done some good thinking on the topic Does Science Have a Soul? What drives scientific inquiry? What are the limits of science? How has science benefitted from Christianity, and do debates about evolution serve either faith or science well? These and other questions arise from a book by Pearcy and Thaxton, The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy.
Robin Lee Hatcher writes at I Was Just Thinking. She's leading a group that has committed to reading through the Bible in 2005, an ambitious project but one that I highly recommend. Through the Bible Checkup is really a meditation on meditation, on the difficulty of waiting patiently for God to answer. Have you ever gone through a period of life when God is absolutely silent? Maybe He's about to smack you up alongside the head in order to get your full attention.
Kim Bloomer of Sharing Spirit is reminded again of our dependence on God. In I Can Do All Things Through Christ Jesus Who Gives Me Strength, through a trial this last week I've come to the realization yet again, that it is not upon my own power or for my own purposes that I do anything.
Res Ipsa of Grace and the News knows a thing or two about fishing. In "Fishers of Men" Peeve he explains my understanding of what Jesus meant by saying we should be fishers of men. It had nothing to do with bass boats or fancy lures, but instead with the power of the Holy Spirit. I suppose this means goodbye to my fish-can't-resist Popeil Pocket Fisherman...
CharlyG of Reformed Politics is discussing the terms Â“whosoeverÂ” and Â“allÂ”. (e.g., 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord... is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence.") The Reformed position on one side and the Arminian on the other. This is not a heated debate, it is a friendly one. Go join in the debate.
There is an unfortunate history of "bad blood" between Protestants and Catholics. First Things Journal and others have been working on greater unity between the two great faith traditions through a series of statements called Evangelicals and Catholics Together, crafted and endorsed by such notables as Charles Colson, Dr. J.I. Packer, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, and others. I believe that any honest effort to foster greater unity in the body of Christ, not white-washing over differences but acknowledging common ground, honors Christ's last prayer, that we should be one as He and the Father are one.
In that spirit, I appreciate what Messy Christian has written about My Education in Catholic Bashing, Part II. It's a bit ironic, isn't it, judging from all that Catholic bashing I was educated in, that I first felt a longing for God in a Catholic church? Messy grew up Buddhist, but God found her heart through Catholicism.
Exercising kindness, I'll set up lawyer Richard Radcliffe's post without resorting to any joke about his chosen profession. Richard writes for Law Religion Culture Review (Is there anything left? Tupperware, maybe?) and has been working on an interesting series on why theologians and lawyers may be mistaken for each other. (Sir, put that joke on the ground and step away...) Law and Theology: A Marriage? Part II looks at Christ as mediator. Another blog I intend to bookmark.
From Nick Queen: This week's new Christian blogs have been chosen and showcased over at my blog, Nick Queen. Please link to either this post or the individual blogs, and stop by each to say hi and give encouragement.
New contributor RomeoCat of CatHouse Chat reacts to the notion that any right to life should be balanced against a "rational distribution of resources." In Where I Stand: Choose LIFE!, RomeoCat counters that human beings have intrinsic value, and that even life on the margins is precious beyond measure.
Callmeteem is another first-time contributor to the Carnival, and Tim starts out with a bang. In Never Forgive; Never Forget, he uses an incident recounted by Simon Wiesenthal as a starting point in an attempt to discover the limits of forgiveness.
Katy McKenna Raymond writes at Fallible. After reading her post, words simply fail me. Here's how Katy describes Bottom-line Friendship: A true friend prays... and refrains from laughing their head off at your weirdness.
Louie Marsh, a fellow Arizonan who writes at The Marshian Chronicles, has replied to the canard that "religion kills" in his post Good Without God? Humanists say the best way to a better world is to abandon God, and point to wars of religion to make their point. But what philosphy has killed more people in the last century than any other? That's righthumanism!
Doug Bass, the human dynamo behind Belief Seeking Understanding, has launched into webcasting at Belief Seeking Understanding Podcast. Doug has submitted an mp3 audio program. Click the link, close your eyes, and enjoy the warm baritone of Doug's voice. He has some excellent comments relating Deuteronomy 21 to Terri Schiavo, reflecting on
the death of Pope John Paul II, and reflecting on online TV.
Dory of Wittenberg Gate has written a touching, cautionary post that she calls One to Trust Above All Others. Trusting men or women above Christ can lead to trouble, as people can always let us down. Yet there is One we can trust above all others who will keep on the right path with perfect faithfulness.
Team Hammer is in the trenches with a post called Theology Tuesday: God and War. The often forgotten role of God as director of just wars in the Old Testament is contrasted with ChristÂ’s exhortations of peace.
Brandywine Books' Lars Walker is in danger of becoming a Calvinist (but only if God has pre-ordained it). In The Writer as Calvinist, he ponders Predestination and an author's sovereignty over his characters.
Sherry, the homeschooling Mom of eight who writes at Semicolon;, has been thinking about Heroes. Who are my heroes, and why am I hesitant to name real life heroes? Not only is she a fine writer, but her choice of heroes surprised methis is a post worth keeping.
Is Christianity a bit too challenging? Need a vacation from The Purpose-driven Life? Red State and Reformed, with apologies to David Letterman, has a prescription for laid-back faith: Top Ten Ways to Remain a Spiritual Baby!
From Bruce Harpel at
Dadmanly, blogging from his duty assignment in Iraq (Thank you, brother!), comments on one of the interesting links between Old and New Testaments in Messiah Foretold. There are many books in the Old Testament that carry fragments of the foretelling of the Messiah, but none speak so clearly of the Messiah's eternal and divine character as this startling passage in Proverbs Chapter 8.
My own entry in this week's Carnival is called Here I Raise My Ebenezer. The Ebenezer stone represented a fresh beginning, a reversal of course for God's people. It also said something important about God: his mercies are everlasting; his covenant is forever.
Funky Dung of Ales Rarus has a good discussion going on the future direction of the Catholic church. About The Church in the Modern World he says, There's been much talk lately of what the Church should change during the next pontificate. I have listed five of the commonly reported issues of American Catholics and my reactions to them. I'd like to hear your opinions.
David at All kinds of time... has submitted an interesting post on the Metro nation approach to spreading the Gospel. David's post is a brief look at the two distinct cultures that exist in America today in much the same way they existed in the first century AD, and why a Metro approach to the Gospel is vital to evangelism.
Stacy Harp of Media Soul has discovered a plan by Thomas Nelson Publishers to distribute a million Bibles. She has the details in Car Dealers Sell Cars With Bibles.
Faith Commons has posted a an excellent essay entitled Faith as Fidelitas. Fidelitas, or faithfulness, is a faith that depends upon me alone, and upon God. No matter who disappoints me or how crazy some religious doctrine is nor how hypocritically that doctrine gets applied; I can still center my heart, soul, mind and strength on God.
Proclaim Anyway is A Penitent Blogger's prescription to opposition to the Gospel. He considers the example of Stephen and concludes that although people may reject the Gospel, our calling remains the sameproclaim the Good News.
Rev. Donald Sensing of One Hand Clapping tackles the fallacy that we can hasten the return of Christ by creating a just and gentle society today. Bringing in the End of the Age discusses the "Immanentized eschatology" of Pope John Paul II in regard to the struggle against Islamist terrorists, and much more. A must-read.
Matt Crash! makes the point that some Christian publications seem reluctant to adopt "intellectual honesty" in their commentary on culture. Maybe they're afraid to offend their readers? Read Matt's take in Spring has finally decided to show herself.
Jeannine writes about Sharing Life. In Where Pride Will Take Us, inspired by Proverbs 12:9, Jeannine discusses the dangers of pride which leads to a separation from our fellow Christans and God. At such times, the gentle persuasion of Christian friends may lead us back from danger.
There's more grace and good sense in this next post than I've heard in a long time. Kim writes The Upward Call. She's a normal Mom, trying to steer her daughters through the teen-aged years while helping them really understand the heart of Jesus. In Wearing the Right Garments, she considers Colossians 3:12-15 and what it really means to wear kindness, patience and love around those who don't make it very easy.
William Meisheid, who writes somewhere Beyond the Rim..., has found a useful expression for thinking about some modern worship: The Church of the Self. He was inspired by a section in a recent Mark Steyn article from April 4th in The Irish Times entitled The Pope's Divisions in which he uses the phrase "the church of the self".
Phil Dillon of Another Man's Meat asks a literary question you don't hear everyday: Would Dostoevsky Need to Cuss? Phil describes his interesting post this way: Some stray thoughts on the profane state of our current culture, comparing the current scene to the work of three literary masters.
Mark Olson is the Pseudo-Polymath, and I'm not sure whether this post proves or disproves that assertion. On the Delian Option is a follow-up post on the possibility of a future oil crisis. In this essay, I continue by discussing whether global unification is good or bad, and offer some thoughts on the Church's role.
The Rev. Ed of Attention Span has written a couple of clever posts on "Flip Wilson Theology". (Warning60's cultural reference ahead: Flip Wilson was a black comedian who hit it big on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.) This one analyzes the famous Flip Wilson line Don't Fight the Feeling. What place are feelings supposed to play in the normal Christian life?
Protagonist of Wyatt's Torch offers a response to an Objectivist & Atheist giving a logical argument on solid philosophical grounds for the existance of God and the supernatural. The God Who is Not There.
Diane Roberts of Crossroads evaluates a lenghty article by Thomas Friedman in The Times Are a Changin'. American jobs are going overseas at an alarming rate, including high end jobs. Is this a wake-up call for America spiritually?
Derek Gilbert of Weapons of Mass Distraction is unimpressed by Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson's explanation for his recent comments about Jesus' "alternative" family. Get the full story at Robinson Backpedals.
Viewpoint follows up on a post by Joe Carter at The Evangelical Outpost on The Center for Naturalism. I know it sounds like a place where aging hippies shed their clothing, but it's actually a group devoted to the promotion and clarification of the metaphysical view that insists that nature is all there is.
That's all, folks!