The soul, the only aspect of a human being the Bible says is eternal, is like a car, according to megachurch pastor and award-winning author John Ortberg. "If you want to care for your car, you kind of have to know what the parts do, what the carburetor does, what the fan belt does — somebody's gotta know that if they want to care for it."
And the car — that is, the soul — has nine needs that must be met in order to function at optimal efficiency, or in this case, to experience God's shalom, Ortberg suggests in his new book Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You.
"The soul is a little like the king on a chessboard," he explains in Soul Keeping. "The king is the most limited of chess pieces; it can only move one square at a time. But if you lose the king, game over. Your soul is vulnerable because it is needy. If you meet those needs with the wrong things, game over. Or at least game not going well." more >>
The Supreme Court is being asked to review California's ban on sexual orientation change efforts for LGBT youth. A non-profit legal group defending religious freedom argues that it violates free speech and the rights of minors.
"Our Constitution was established to protect the people from renegade lawmakers," Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said Wednesday. "This law is a prime example of legislators who care more about politically correct speech than free speech, and more about perks from special interest groups than the rights of children."
The law group is representing a psychiatrist, a licensed therapist who also oversees a church counseling ministry, and an individual dealing with same-sex attraction who claims to have benefited from such therapy before it was banned. more >>
A California couple claim that they own and operate a medical marijuana dispensary in order to help the sick and spread the Gospel at the same time.
Bryan and Lanette Davies began selling marijuana out of their Canna Care shop after claiming that God spoke to them. Now they consider themselves Sacramento's only evangelical medical cannabis provider.
"I started praying, 'Please help me Lord, I need to do something to be able to earn money.' So He (God) said, 'Open up a pot shop. Who are you not to do my will?'" said Bryan, according to TIME magazine. more >>
Pastor Craig Gross of XXXchurch advises Christians to look beyond the "black and white rhetoric" about homosexuality and focus on the people most affected by the church's stance on surrounding issues instead.
In a recent blog post, Gross noted that while the church and companies like World Vision state their views on homosexuality, the ones who end up negatively affected are individuals caught in the gray area of the subject.
"I've said this before, but it needs to be said over and over: be quick to listen and slow to speak. Most people and companies issuing statements and talking about a definitive black and white God have never sat and listened to the people and lives on the other end of their statements," wrote Gross, also referencing World Vision's reversed decision on hiring same-sex married couples. "…You have to blow past the black-and-white rhetoric of the establishment and get down in the grey dirt with the outcasts. You know. What Jesus did." more >>
Charles Murray, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, posted "An open letter to the students of Azusa Pacific University" Tuesday after he received word from the Christian school's president that his Wednesday speech at the school was postponed until the fall semester.
APU President Jon R. Wallace said the event had to be rescheduled because the school needed more time to schedule the event. Murray, on the other hand, suggested the move happened because some faculty and students did not want Murray on campus.
Some reports are comparing APU's move to the recent incident at Brandeis University. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, also a scholar at AEI, had her honorary degree and speech at Brandeis canceled after some faculty complained about her anti-Islam views. more >>
A sign of the grim economic realities many people are grappling with in the sluggish economy is that a growing number of Californians between the ages of 50 to 64 have been painfully moving back home to live with their parents due to economic hardship.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development revealed that the number of Californians in that age group who live in their parents' home increased by 67.6 percent to 194,000 for seven years through 2012, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"The numbers are pretty amazing," said Steven P. Wallace, a UCLA professor of public health who presented the data. "It's an age group that you normally think of as pretty financially stable. They're mid-career. They may be thinking ahead toward retirement. They've got a nest egg going. And then all of a sudden you see this huge push back into their parents' homes." more >>