Columns

Life with Father – Holding Hands

by Marsha Dowell

Holding hands.” Doesn’t that conjure up visions of romantic walks, Valentine’s Day, true love, and “they lived happily ever after”? (more…)

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McQuien’s Musings: – Two Views of God—and Jesus Christ

by Paul McQuien

One of the perplexing problems of the Bible is the contrast between the seemingly angry God of the Old Testament and the loving God of the New Testament. Some people have even gone to the extreme of rejecting the biblical revelation altogether, questioning how a loving God could cause, or at least allow, so much violence and suffering to occur. (more…)

Life with Father: I AM

by Marsha Dowel

“Embrace the change!” The first time I ever heard these words was when I was the assistant manager at a Disney Store. I was complaining to the manager about a policy modification. She had already accepted it mentally, but me – not so much. So my response to her “embrace the change!” statement was a cynical look, and an inward thought of “Yeah… Riiii-ght.” (more…)

McQuien’s Musings: Beatitudes and Blessings by Paul McQuien

One of the most familiar passages in the New Testament contains the blessings spoken by Jesus at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3-11), which we commonly refer to as the “Beatitudes.” These statements all begin with the English words “Blessed” because they usually convey a state of spiritual well-being that transcends a material this-worldly state of mind. Yet these so-called beatitudes can occasionally have an ironic twist. (more…)

Life with Father: When Life Dumps on You

by Marsha Dowell

In Matthew chapter 19, disciples and religious leaders were crowded around Jesus. The religious leaders were interested in the legalities of marriage and divorce; Jesus began explaining the differences between legalities, and the matter of the heart.
An interruption came when children were brought for Jesus to lay His hands on them and pray. The religious leaders and disciples were NOT amused. They had important things to learn. But Jesus stopped them in their tracks with this verse: “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven.”
Heaven belongs to the children? Why? What about us? (more…)

McQuien’s Musings: A Question of Inspiration

by Paul McQuien

Attitudes toward the inspiration of the Bible range across the entire spectrum from the agnostic denial of divine inspiration of the text, other than in a literary sense, to the polar opposite that every word, at least in the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, was divinely inspired. Other viewpoints accept the general inspiration of the Testaments but question the idea of “verbal plenary” inspiration of every word and sentence.
One helpful approach is to examine what the Bible itself, especially the New Testament, tells us about divine inspiration of the text, and the short answer is, not a whole lot. In general, the Scriptures assert their divine origin without attempting to prove them. After all, proof would negate the necessity of faith, which is central to Christianity. (more…)

Life with Father: I Was adopted

by Marsha Dowell

When I was 11 years old, my mom told me I was adopted by my father. All I could think of from that point on was, “I have a stepfather! He must not love me as much as my younger sister.”
When traveling in the car, sometimes I would think, “He could just drop me off on the side of the road and leave me, ‘cause I’m not his real daughter.” After all, I was not as pretty as his real daughter, who was a blonde-haired beauty. (more…)

McQuien’s Musings: Lord, Take Control

by Paul McQuien

When my second oldest granddaughter was five or six years old, she and I got into a squabble over a broken videotape that got stuck in a video recorder. She got so upset with me that she let me have it: “Grandpa, you’re just out of control!” Being a high-spirited little girl, she had probably heard those same words directed at her. Less amusing was the adult I encountered while walking recently in a nearby park. She was screaming obscenities uncontrollably into her cell phone at the apparent object of her wrath, who had perhaps already hit the off button on his (or her) cell phone. (more…)

McQuien’s Musings: The Dilemma of Suffering

by Paul McQuien

The topic of human suffering is too complex to be addressed adequately in a brief editorial or perhaps, for that matter, in a lengthy book. Yet the reality of suffering is central to human experience, including faithful Christians. It has even led some believers to deny their faith and some non-believers to reject the idea that a beneficent, loving God even exists. (more…)

“The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve” by Stephen Greenblatt – A Book Review, by Paul McQuien

Recently I read a book by Stephen Greenblatt titled “The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve” (W.W. Norton, 2017). No, the book didn’t focus on the biblical account of their creation and fall but rather on their theological, cultural, and scientific treatment from antiquity to the present. Greenblatt himself is a prolific author and Harvard scholar, who won the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction in 2012, not to mention numerous additional awards and literary accomplishments, especially in Shakespeare studies.
Being a liberal Jewish scholar, Greenblatt doesn’t accept the account of Adam and Eve as a literal event, but he does express great respect for its significance as an influence on Western thought and creativity. For example, he observes that “Something happened at the beginning of time . . . that led to the way we are . . . and if we want to understand the way we are, it is important to remember and retell this story.” (more…)

A Wayfarer Pauses: What Tone Of Voice Does God Use With You?

by Marsha Dowell

When our son was little and did something wrong, all I had to do was look at him and he would stop. His father would look at him, and he was in full contrition.
When our daughter would misbehave, a look alone was nothing. Words would have to be exchanged, but that might not do it. The big guns would have to be pulled out. When she turned off her cell phone so we could not reach her while she was out with friends? Big Guns required. She became cell phone-less, electronic-less, car-less, makeup-less, and bedroom door-less.
Several years later, she wrote about that particular “talking to”, and how it was the turning point in her life. That’s all it took to get her back on the right path. (more…)

Guest Column: Royal Hospitality

by Mark Adams

CORPUS CHRISTI — When we speak of our Presidents, we evaluate their performances in one way by looking at what they have done during their first 100 days in office. In fact, as I am composing this, Donald Trump is just wrapping up his 92nd day in office.

Mark Adams

Presidents, kings and prime ministers have unique opportunities to act in ways that affect large numbers of people, reaching even billions through what they do. It is hard to know, during the time of a leader’s tenure, exactly which deeds will be defining actions in the years that follow, especially after some of the political banter has died down. (more…)