As a secular American Jew, Clifford Goldstein was driven by one consuming obsession: to write a bestselling novel. God was nowhere on his radar. And yet, Cliff was on God’s radar. Here is the trailer for the video, Bestseller, to be released July 1.
June 2014 - Archives
By far the most traumatic event of my adolescence was Sue Cook’s house fire. I recall the suburban home ringed with a crowd of people, spewing fire and black smoke out of its windows. I stood there watching solemnly with Sue, who whispered, “Don’t tell” and held me in the grip of her panicked eyes.
We both knew how the fire started. We had accidentally dropped a burning cigarette onto her couch only hours before; it had disappeared into the box springs and, unbeknownst to us, smoldered into life after we left. What began as a mischievous 13-year-old secret became a life-altering disaster.
For about a year, until Sue’s father discovered the matter, I carried two monsters on by back—guilt and shame. Guilt reminded me of the horrible thing I’d done, while Shame told me that the horrible thing defined who I was. When Guilt flashed the burning house before my eyes, hissing, “You lit this fire!” Shame followed quickly with, “You arsonist, you!” Guilt afflicted my conscience, while Shame …
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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, under intense public pressure, vetoed Senate Bill 1062, a religious freedom bill that had been “egregiously misrepresented,” according to a coalition of law professors who wrote in defense of the bill. The bill sought to clarify what was originally intended in an earlier bill, enacted in 1999, The Arizona Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which I drafted, and I also chaired a coalition that supported the bill. Although enacted by strong majorities in the legislature, businesses pushed hard against SB 1062. The NFL threatened to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona if Brewer signed it. Among the false charges: that it gave businesses carte blanche to refuse services to gays.
As a result of the Arizona experience, it has now become difficult if not impossible to enact any religious freedom protections. This episode may be seen in the long view of history as symptomatic of the end of Protestantism.
Civil and religious liberties in America, and globally, owe an enormous debt to Protestantism. Reformation doctrines of …
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“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).
The word “groaning” in this verse means “to voice a deep, inarticulate sound, as of pain, grief, or displeasure.” If there were no other text in all of Scripture, this text alone tells me that God has a heart. The very capability of voicing a deep sound of pain or grief requires feeling deeply about something or someone, and to feel deeply requires a heart.
The groaning of human beings overwhelmed by suffering, loss, and pain are recorded throughout the Old Testament, but in the New Testament there are only two references to the Greek word for “groaning.”
Feelings that are often too deep for words reach His heart.
One belongs to the Holy Spirit in our scripture verse Romans 8:26. It describes how He groans out the heartache we fail to find …
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When I think of hunger, I picture an emaciated man with defined ribs, and perhaps a slightly protruding, enlarged abdomen, signaling malnutrition. Associating the enlarged abdomen of an overweight person with hunger has never seriously entered my frame of reference until I recently watched the documentary film, A Place at the Table. Hunger, here in America, was the central theme. Authorities were interviewed as well as those who currently experience hunger. One of the points made was that obesity and hunger often go hand in hand, and that both can be signs of insufficient funds for food. The film provided an alternative way of looking at hunger as well as obesity. Rather than picturing famine, with people roaming through parched land, the hungry are in inner cities as well as in remote locations, but not far from where you live. Millions of Americans are food insecure. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a state in which consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack …
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Yeehaw! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Amen!
Yes, I know I’m geographically Down Under, but, wow, am I flying high right now! It’s the Monday after the final weekend of the ARISE Australia program , and I’m sitting back to soak it all in, and, hopefully, to write down something about it.
Where to start? My mind is spinning with joyful thoughts. Here are some of the mountain tops.
First, and most obviously, my family and I moved to Kingscliff, Australia on March 4th, just over two months ago. We’re here to help run the ARISE Australia program and to pastor the Kingscliff Seventh-day Adventist Church. This represents a fairly significant change of scenery for my family and me, as I’ll be traveling much less than I have been the last several years. I’ll still be traveling some, especially to events like the Light Bearers Convocation and ARISE , but on the whole we’ll be putting our roots down for the next several years while our little boys turn into, gasp, teenagers. (Seriously, you blink and your kids …
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