Review: Passport through Darkness

Passport to DarknessRead this: Passport through Darkness: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances, by Kimberly L. Smith.

For perhaps most Americans, their faith consists of going to church on Sunday, sending up an occasional prayer, and being nice. Some volunteer at church, or for a local ministry. Some read their Bible on a regular basis. A few go on short-term mission trips. But for Kimberly Smith, none of that was enough. She and her husband sensed God calling them away from their comfortable lives and onto the mission field.

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Playing Favorites

Does God Have Favorites?

Most Christians would emphatically deny the very thought. We’re brought up to believe that playing favorites is bad. God is good. Ergo, God can’t have favorites.

There are plenty of verses to support this point. Here is a small selection:

  • “Then Peter started speaking: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him.” Acts 10:34-35
  • “For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:11
  • “But from those who were influential (whatever they were makes no difference to me; God shows no favoritism between people)—those influential leaders added nothing to my message.” Galatians 2:6
  • “Masters, treat your slaves the same way, giving up the use of threats, because you know that both you and they have the same master in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” Ephesians 6:9

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Honoring Patrick

St Patrick wikipediaAre you wearing green? Eating green food, drinking green beer? Stores are selling shamrocks, leprechauns adorn decorations, and we’re all hoping for a pot of gold. What is St. Patrick’s Day about, really? Just as Frosty and mistletoe have little to do with the true purpose of Christmas, and Easter holds far more significance than a bunny bringing baskets of jelly beans, St. Patrick’s Day has a rich heritage far beyond our cultural celebration.

Patrick was born in Scotland 385 AD. He was abducted at age 16 and taken to Ireland, where he lived in bondage as a shepherd. During that time, his Christian faith became real to him, sustaining him for six long year. God then rescued him and he returned home, where he became a priest—only to be called as a missionary back to the very country where he had been enslaved.

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Life is Hard

I’ve noticed a problem in the American church. Well, really there are lots of problems, but one has stuck out recently, and I’m as guilty as anyone else.

Somehow, we’ve gotten the mistaken idea that being a Christian is all about me. Being a believer—“following the rules”—is supposed to make my life better. For example, we believe that when it comes to money, we just need to follow Biblical principles and our families will prosper. Or, we believe that God will smooth the way and eliminate any problems or hardships from our lives.

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