Whosoever January/February 2008
Issue Theme: God Restores My Soul
Table of Contents
God's Refreshing Absence
By: Candace Chellew-Hodge
When we think of how God restores our soul, we may immediately think about God's presence in our lives. We may reflect on those times that we truly felt God with us, holding us like a mother, standing beside us like a friend, working in and through us like a Creator. But, could it be that the times when God truly restores our soul is during times when we feel God's absence?
One at a Time
By: Lori Heine
One of the most important fruits of a restored soul is patience. We live in a fast-food society, promising instant gratification. But not everybody’s on the same page as we are. Because we tend to expect them to be, we may be missing the fact that they’re turning those pages very rapidly. If we’re willing to wait awhile, many of them will catch up with us yet.
By: Neil Ellis Orts
I have empty days. I don't mean days of idleness with nothing to do. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I fill my days with so many projects and tasks that I fail to schedule in any Sabbath rest.
Restoring Our Christ
By: Rev. Suzie Chamness
When we go to God, we walk in the fullness of strength and begin a relationship. We enjoy God’s presence and we are rewarded. God sends us the things we are looking for. Our needs are met, our heart is satisfied, and we are filled with good things.
First Things First
By: John H. Campbell
A renewal of one's spirituality often means the washing away and cleansing of old (and sometimes toxic) beliefs and ideas which could have contributed to a sense of spiritual void, emptiness, or disconnection in the first place, and I have found that while it is often a difficult task.
God Restores My Soul
By: Wayne McMorris
When you say the theme this month is “God Restores My Soul” I would have to most heartily concur. God most assuredly restored mine, which had been torn asunder by the doctrines of hate and exclusion with which I had so often been bombarded.
Being Transgender: From Punchline to Mainline
By: Candace Chellew-Hodge
When it comes to transgender people and their issues, the media tends to portray them as either prostitutes or punch lines. Author and speaker Vanessa Sheridan believes being they are neither. Instead, for her, being transgender is a gift.
Public Wrongs and Rites
By: Barbra Barnett
There is a small church based in Topeka, Kansas , consisting primarily of a founder and his many children. Maybe you've heard of it. Members claim to have proclaimed their message in all fifty states: It is too late to pray for the good of the USA or the redemption of her inhabitants. We have ignored the mandate to repent and so we perish, increasing the population of hell with each death.
Why Every Church Must be Open and Affirming
By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker
We must rise above their ignorant and hateful pronouncements, cynically made "in the name of God," "tradition," "church law," and "family values," and finally practice Christianity.
The IRS has confirmed that it has closed its investigation of All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, and the Church will not be subject to excise tax in connection with any alleged political campaign intervention.
Let Them Hit Bottom
By: Bob Minor
And a 2007 study by the Barna Research Group, a conservative, non-profit research corporation that advises Christians about how to become more effective, is even less hopeful for the right-wing. In a new book co-authored by its president, David Kinnaman, entitled unChristian: What a New Generation Thinks about Christianity and Why It Matters, and published by conservative Baker Books, the statistics should be especially unnerving to them.
How to Get Your Prayers Answered
By: Sara Anderson
The four keys to getting prayers answered, then, are faith, forgiveness, relaxation/submission, and transformation. With each of these actions, we make the existential choice that all humans have to make every day, between the good and creative versus the evil and destructive.
Does the Church Experience Help Inoculate Against Christianity?
By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker
Let's face it: when was the last time this crucial message of God's grace was taught in most of the institutional churches?
When You’re Cryin’
By: Rick Brentlinger
God’s plan for you is victory, God’s love for you is clear,
Each problem in your life you face, your Lord is standing near.
From the Pulpit:
The Extraordinary Power of an Ordinary Life
By: Rev. David Gillespie
When it comes to queer issues, hearts and minds are ultimately changed not by laws or pronouncements or protests; rather, they are changed by a growing realization that it just doesn't matter; a realization that queer folks are just as human as anyone else; a realization that we queer folks work, play, pay bills, grow families, grow old and worship just like everyone else. It's the power of ordinary lives.
What are You Waiting For?
By: Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge
Just sitting around passively waiting for things to get better won't change your life. We can only change our lives by taking action – by moving forward. John has good news – Christ has come to change us – to ignite the kingdom life within us, to ignite the fire and the Holy Spirit within us and to change us from the inside out.
The Bible: A User's Manual, Part 2
By: Rev. Micah Royal
Usually when someone causes hurt or oppression with the Bible they are mis-using it. This is called "Bible abuse." The best way to guard yourself against being its victim is to learn how to read the Bible for yourselves.