In my last blog I explored the impact of astrology upon the emperor Tiberius. Consider this contemporary story of a president who followed the stars!
Here's an entertaining conversion story from 2011.
Sal Bentivegna, a New Yorker, thought the Christian faith was ridiculous. He loved taunting his devout Catholic mother Gloria and would often get combative and sarcastic. He told his mum that she ought to pray "to her God" and ask for 'dinero' to sort out her financial difficulties. Gloria refused to do this but she had been praying for her son's conversion for several years. She told her son that he was more than welcome to pray on her behalf.
Spain's national lottery, known as "El Gordo" (the Fat One), was first established in 1812 and operates somewhat differently from most British lotteries. It has a total of 1,800 winning tickets. Each ticket costs a whopping €200 but it is then sub-divided into ten 'decimas' which cost around €20 each. The 'decima' is then broken down into individual 'participations' that cost about €5.
A simple and effective way to talk about the Christian faith is to craft speech acts about heroes and villains. For example, I was talking recently to a financial adviser about investing money in a variety of portfolios and my wife, Anne and I became bothered about the dodgy nature of some of the schemes. We're talking about our money being invested in weapons, tobacco and pornography companies. This is how the conversation went with 'Brian'.
Happy Easter! Christ is risen and his kingdom is breaking into our world. Have you heard this poignant and challenging Tony Campolo story?
Tony was walking towards the Holiday Inn in the middle of Port-au-Prince when he was intercepted by three teenage girls. The oldest was about 15.
The one in the middle said, "Mister, for ten dollars you can have me all night long."
Tony was gobsmacked!
He looked at the girl and said, "I'm an old guy. Would you sleep with me all night long for ten dollars?" She said, "Yes."
I was talking about James Bond, rat worship, trafficking and God and this former member of the National Front, I mean the NF, came up to me! He told me he thought my talk was brilliant but he thought it very political and unlike any talk he had heard in church. What's that all about?
The Narnia experience in Leeds has been absolutely amazing. Thousands of people, young and old, have entered Narnia and experienced the magic. Truly Lynsey Jones and the other core people have achieved something quite remarkable.
The story of Aslan, the white witch, the beavers etc is delightful, funny, poignant and subversive. The story re-enchants the world and opens peoples' eyes to the wonder of the world. The Narnia experience spills the perfume of Christ in the theatrical sphere of life.
If Hollywood transforms Joseph into a secular hero, there are others who portray him as a moral and spiritual giant. Both views fail to do justice to the biblical story.
In Genesis 47:20-21 we read that Joseph reduced the Egyptian people to servitude. In this respect he can be described as a spiritual pygmy. Consider the teachings in Deuteronomy 15 and Leviticus 25 that give us a fuller picture of God's redemptive purposes for the world.
Frau Beckstein lived in Austria at the fag end of the 19th century. She was a noble and idealistic school teacher and she loved poetry, novels, opera and painting. To say that Frau Beckstein was cultured would be an understatement. She loved the life of the artist and she swooned when she pondered the inspiring story of the eccentric, poverty-stricken bohemian living in a rat-infested garret.