Category: Christmas & Easter

Mary, Do We Know? Evangelicals and the mother of God

National Geographic’s December cover proclaims Mary, the mother of Jesus, as “the most powerful woman in the world.” The story itself examines Marian apparitions and Marian devotion across the globe, profiling those who claim to have experienced visitations and healing from Mary. Speaking in the article to Mary's enduring appeal, New Testament and Jewish Studies professor Amy Jill-Levine says…  [more]

Why A Charlie Brown Christmas still resonates 50 years later

If your childhood had any similarity to mine, then the arrival of Christmas each year was marked by America’s Advent calendar of television holiday specials. Claymation classics like Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and animated legends like How the Grinch Stole Christmas filled our home with daily anticipation that Christmas morning was coming soon. The highlight was always the night we spent in footed pajamas…  [more]

Advent and lament

The stories don’t stop coming. I woke up Saturday morning and tried to digest the news that a gunman had entered a Planned Parenthood clinic and killed three people, including a police officer who also served as an elder in his church. This was after I followed the news Friday of protests in Chicago in response to the delayed release of police department video showing the shooting and killing of Laquan…  [more]

Adele and Advent: worth the wait

If you’ve been following me on social media the past few weeks, then you know how much I adore Adele. I have been counting down to last Friday’s release of her new album, 25, and have now spent this past weekend listening to it on repeat. The anticipation was due not only to her amazing talent, but to the four-year hiatus since her last album, 21. 25 is on track to be a record-breaking album, projected…  [more]

Lent devotionals offered by TC sister ministry

Some of you are aware that TC has a sister ministry of daily devotionals called Today. If this is news to you, now is a good time to get to know the program, as Today is offering a special series of devotions to guide you through the season of Lent. Called Focus on the Cross and beginning on Ash Wednesday, the series is designed to help you concentrate on the depth, beauty and mystery of the death and…  [more]

Christmastime’s generic call to “believe”

If you’ve been anywhere near a radio or retailer this Christmas, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the lines from the ubiquitous Josh Groban song “Believe”: “We were dreamers not so long ago / But one by one we all had to grow up / When it seems the magic's slipped away / We find it all again on Christmas day.” This expresses well a prevalent theme of many Christmas…  [more]

A Gospel guide to Christmas shopping

The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, and the early returns show a significant uptick in online purchases on Cyber Monday. For many, the days leading up to and following Thanksgiving are filled with alerts, newsletters, Tweets and Facebook posts highlighting the latest and greatest deals. Many sites offer tips about how to maximize your shopping experience through a variety of strategies. Most of us shop at…  [more]

Ayahuasca and the high of Easter

In the jungles of Peru lies a concoction of vines and other plants that has caught the curiosity of spiritual seekers across the globe. The mixture, known as ayahuasca, is a hallucinogen that is consumed by drinking a thick sludge. Traditionally shamans are present to accompany the seeker in their quest for healing and enlightenment, as the concoction produces not only visions but also severe vomiting. Magazines…  [more]

How resurrection shakes things up (on ABC and elsewhere)

In ABC's new drama Resurrection, there is something more troubling than the bodily resurrections taking place in Arcadia, Mo. Even more disturbing are the long-buried secrets the resurrected have brought back with them. Every scene of the show, it seems, brings with it another bit of the past that almost everyone hoped was gone. Many of the characters are trying to control others and preserve their power, and…  [more]

Good Friday: when normcore went hardcore

I first noticed the stonewashed jeans returning to clothing stores this past February. While out for coffee with a friend I asked, “Are the ’90s making a fashion comeback?” I wasn’t too far off. Stonewashed jeans, plain white T-shirts, fleece jackets and non-brand name items were becoming the “it” materials of a new fashion trend. What was going on in my fashion-forward,…  [more]

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