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Faith Strong Today
Finding Creativity: How the Olympics is Helping Me Overcome Stress
Whenever the Olympics come around I find myself transformed from someone who barely pays attention to the majority of sports into someone who analyzes the ins and outs of a diving position and becomes an expert at all things balance beam. And while it’s fun to transform into an armchair athlete and judge, these Tokyo 2020 Olympics are also inspiring somewhat deeper thoughts.
Jeff Bezos Goes to Space and Reaps Social Media Flak
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made headlines this week as he launched Blue Origin NS-16 just past the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. On July 20, Bezos and three other crew members spent 11 minutes above the Kàrmàn Line, which is the internationally-recognized space border at 100 kilometres altitude.
Purity Culture versus Purity
Everyone’s opinion of and experience with purity culture often comes down to when and where they grew up. And what denomination they were in. For example, those who were teens in the 1990s had the unique reality of being there for the beginning of this conservative movement. They lived through the hype, the intensity and the eventual deconstructing of what it means to be pure in an impure culture.
Money Management Tips for Millenials
There’s an abundance of financial advice out there but for many Millenials, thoughts of saving or investing seem out of reach. In 2019, Statistics Canada reported people born between the years 1982 and 1991 were better off financially than Gen Xers but had the highest debt to after-tax income ratio of any generation.
You Can’t Save the World But You Can Make a Difference
There’s a lot to care about in the world. As Christians, we’re concerned about the salvation of our loved ones and, as citizens of the world, we care about maintaining the earth for generations to come. But with so many awful things happening every day in our sinful world, and seeing so much that breaks our hearts… how can we care equally for everything and take any sort of action that will make a measurable difference? Often, we’re defeated before we start.
5 Summer Blockbuster Movies that are Faith or Family Focused
It has been a long time since many of us have ventured to the cinema to take in a flick on the big screen, but now that the world is beginning to open back up, long-delayed feature films are getting back to filming and others are announcing new release dates. Here’s a look at five exciting movies releasing this summer that are faith-friendly or family focused.
Man Swallowed by Whale and Survives, Modern-day Jonah Story
It’s a story of biblical proportions. On June 11, 2021, Michael Packard, a commercial lobster diver, was on his second dive of the day when he was swallowed by a humpback whale. The Cape Cod Times reported the 56-year-old veteran diver was inside of the whale’s mouth for between 30 to 40 seconds before the whale breached, shook its head and spit Packard out.
Rick Warren Announces Retirement, Plans to Find a Successor for Saddleback Church
On June 6, Pastor Rick Warren announced to his congregation his plan to retire after 51 years in ministry, and nearly 42 years as the lead pastor of Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, California. The evangelical Christian pastor and author was quick to add that his intention is to make a smooth transition into a less visible role, from lead pastor to founding pastor. The first step for the church is to begin the official search for Warren’s successor.
How to Prepare to Return to Work In Person Post Pandemic
For many North American workers, things have been quite difficult over the last year and a half. With revolving lockdowns and varying degrees of working from home, pursuing larger career goals may have been put on hold for many, and even derailed for others. Now that life in many parts is well on the way to returning to normal, whatever that means anymore, we’re now facing a new decision: do we return to in-person work, or stay remote?
New Study Reveals Syncretism is Dominant Worldview of American Adults
A new study has found the dominant worldview of adults in the United States is syncretism, a customized combination of various worldviews, and they rely on this worldview when making life choices. The study called “American Worldview Inventory 2021,” was conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University in February 2021. It surveyed 2,000 adults from the four adult generations: Millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers and Builders.
Craft Beer Bonds Christian Father and Son in New Documentary ‘Brewmance’
The craft beer movement grew out of the American homebrewing movement and the ever-evolving industry has proven you don’t have to follow the rules to make good beer. Although the movement has been around since the 1970s, over the past decade, craft breweries, also called microbreweries, have exploded across North America. These small-batch producers are often independently owned and committed to traditional artisanal brewing, which was first done in Europe.
How to Pray When You’re in a Negative News Cycle
Being bombarded with bad news from every angle is something we’ve lived with for a long time. As a society, we seem drawn to sensational headlines and although we say we’d like more good news, there seems to be an inherent negativity bias that draws us in. While our proclivity for bad news ebbs and flows, in times of crisis it’s far easier to become fixated on what’s wrong rather than making the extra effort to find that elusive silver lining.
5 Christian Memes that Actually Have a Biblical Basis
Who says Christians don’t have a sense of humour? With all of the chaos in our world today, it’s important to find ways to relax and not take things too seriously. And what better way to laugh than to look through some Christian memes? Here are five Christian memes that actually have a biblical basis so you can laugh and study your Bible at the same time!
How to Practice Active Waiting
Do you have a strong sense of direction in your life? Are you filled with passion and excitement for what’s next? Or are you feeling like it’s time for something new, and you’re wondering what that could be? Waiting for change or for dreams to be fulfilled can be one of the most difficult parts of the Christian life. When God shows us a vision for His plan for us, we’re filled with anticipation and excitement.
Hillsong Church Pauses Dallas Location After Scandal Investigation
In the aftermath following the dramatic and public firing of Carl Lentz, former head pastor of the Hillsong New York City location, last November, Hillsong has continued facing pastoral departures. The most recent scandal for the international ministry was revealed on April 10 by Hillsong co-founder Brian Houston. In an email, Houston announced their Dallas, Texas location was to “pause all operations,” according to RNS.
Justin Bieber Surprises and Delights Fans by Releasing Gospel EP
On Easter Sunday, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber surprised his fans by quietly releasing a six-song gospel EP called Freedom. Bieber posted the announcement on social media to immediate reactions of shock, gratitude and overwhelm. His Instagram post featured an image of the album cover, a screenshot of the word “Freedom” written on a mobile phone notes app, and a tracklisting. His caption for the announcement on Twitter read, “Freedom on all platforms.”
How Christians Can Rise Above Hate
This past year has been stressful, exhausting, painful and filled with other negative emotions. We’ve all been stretched and tried in unexpected ways and are grasping for new normals. In the midst of this strife and confusion, our relationships have been strained to the breaking point. While people have always disagreed over points of religion and politics, the past year has brought out so much more.
4 in 10 American Christians Plan to Attend In-Person Church this Easter
This year, our second Easter of the coronavirus pandemic, as the world inches back towards “normal,” 39% of Christians in the United States say they plan on attending in-person Easter Sunday services. On Monday, Pew Research Center released a survey finding Americans are “increasingly confident they can safely go to services at a church, temple, mosque or other house of worship.”
New Contemporary Christian Music Releases for March and April 2021
On March 14, the 63rd annual Grammy Awards were held and high-profile celebrities walked away with two major awards in the Contemporary Christian Music category. Dolly Parton and Zach Williams won “Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song” for the single “There Was Jesus.” Although the majority of Parton’s musical success has come from the country music genre, this is not her first Christian music collaboration.
Beth Moore Leaves Southern Baptist Convention, Church Community Reacts Online
On March 9, evangelical Christians were rocked to learn Beth Moore is no longer a Southern Baptist. The popular author and speaker made the announcement in an interview with Religion News Service last Friday, citing she doesn’t “identify with some of the things in our heritage that haven’t remained in the past.”
Continued Fallout from Ravi Zacharias Sexual Misconduct Investigation
The findings of the Ravi Zacharias sexual abuse investigation sparked major conversations both in and out of the church. Weeks later, we are starting to see the effects it is having on the ministry that he founded. On February 18, the board of RZIM Canada released a statement announcing their intention to close operations.
How to Help People in Crisis
While many parts of the Northern hemisphere are used to winter conditions, the winter storm that hit Texas brought the coldest temperatures the state had faced in 30 years. The extreme and sudden weather put pressure on the power grid, which then caused widespread outages lasting for days in some areas. When storms and other disasters strike, the rest of the world looks on helplessly, wondering what they can do to help.
Simple Ways to Observe Lent in a Pandemic
Depending on your denomination, you may or may not observe Lent in a formal, corporate way. But if you do, you’ve probably wondered how to safely observe Lent, which begins on February 17, 2021, while in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. If so, you’re not alone. Various groups have released special pandemic Ash Wednesday tips, to help parishes follow social distancing guidelines and still participate in the rite.
9 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Virtual Church
When the pandemic first swept across the globe forcing us to transition everything online, including virtual church services, it seemed at best like a fun challenge and at worst a necessary inconvenience. Now that we’re settling into this new normal and meeting online is a regular part of how we connect, it’s important to find ways to make the most out of these gatherings even if they’re not under ideal circumstances.
Skillet’s John Cooper is Deconstructing Deconstruction
For more than 20 years Skillet’s frontman John Cooper has entertained audiences as lead singer with his message of positive Christian rock. While Cooper has always been outspoken in his faith, over the past year he has taken to social media more and more to battle cultural relativism, which he says has infected the church and modern Christianity.