An editor with a well-established Jewish news publication argues that American Judaism has lessons to learn from Evangelicals and how they approach worship.
In a column published Sunday in the Jewish Daily Forward, contributing editor Jay Michaelson expresses his desire to see the creation of a "Jewish megachurch."
"… [A]lmost all mainline denominations are in trouble: Modern Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. Of course, there are some success stories, scattered around the country, but the predominant story is of a synagogue model in decline," wrote Michaelson. more >>
Carman Licciardello, popular Christian recording artist and actor, has shared in an online post how he believes God's grace helped him endure the painful journey of cancer treatment, to eventually find himself "cancer-free."
The singer, who goes professionally by just Carman, captioned the below double-photo with the phrase "The Difference One Year Can Make" on Tuesday. The image on the left is of Carman "deep in chemo," while the one on the right is of him "nine months later before walking on stage."
He went on to share with his 383,000-plus Facebook followers: "I remember so well washing my hair after the 3rd week of chemotherapy and seeing it all come off in my hands in clumps. I remember the agony of that giant needle in my sternum to draw out stem cells. The ports they planted in my chest to daily inject drugs. The mind numbing pain of my bones expanding to produce stem cells." more >>
In preparation for my upcoming marriage, I have set out researching deeper into Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) or more commonly called Natural Family Planning (NFP), a birth control method based on the natural observation of signs and symptoms of a woman's ovulation cycle. No chemicals. No treatments. No devices. I'll be honest; NFP is a complex method that takes discipline and commitment. But what NFP does offer is an alternative method to the negative ethical, physical and emotional effects that lurk behind the convenience of the Pill.
I've shared my own thoughts on the need for Evangelicals to stop considering NFP as solely "Catholic" in an op-ed entitled "Why Aren't Evangelicals Talking About Natural Family Planning?" Why Evangelicals haven't collectively considered NFP as a viable alternative chemical contraception, I'll never know. So I was especially surprised to read CNN's report covering NFP's recent rise in popularity among secular women.
In the CNN article entitled, "For Birth Control, What's Old is New Again," author Nadia Kounang notes the "growing movement of young women who are saying no to hormonal birth control and yes to a kind of birth control that sounds at first like a real throwback with a little extra high-tech twist." more >>
Tomczak followed up the next day with an open letter to her, "Ellen DeGeneres:An Open Letter of My Criticism and Her Response to the Influence of Homosexuality in the Media."
Below is Tomczak's video response to DeGeneres and his appeal to use her influence for the benefit of young viewers to look up to her and other entertainers.
"The fossil fuel industry should be dismantled because it is as bad as human slavery."
That's exactly what Kathleen Henry, president of a non-profit environmental law firm argued in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She went on:
Continuing to use fossil fuels will, in fact, lead to economic collapse from the consequences of climate change. But people continue to listen to the harmful rhetoric of the fossil fuel industry... ...They must rise above this and actively support the dismantling of the fossil fuel industry just as our forebears dismantled the slavery industry. more >>
John Whitehead once wrote, "Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see." Christian parents understand that their children's education helps frame the "living message" they become, so many of them—like my wife and I some 25 years ago—decide to homeschool them. Homeschooling has now gone "mainstream," with celebrities like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith joining millions of Americans who choose homeschool over public education. Surprising to many is the high rate of minority homeschooling and that 70 percent of survey respondents cite a nonreligious reason as the top motivator in their decision to home school.
One of the hallmarks of the homeschooling movement has been the high level of student outcomes, with homeschoolers consistently scoring higher on standardized tests and college graduation rates about 10% higher than their public school peers. Yet, one of the questions that often perplexes homeschooling parents is whether or not the program of study they have chosen meets or exceeds the academic standards of their local school district. The latest academic standards' issue that homeschooling families face relates to the newly adopted Common Core State Standards. More than 40 states are currently using the standards; setting a higher academic bar than most states had in place, and homeschoolers now must respond to these standards, as standardized tests like the SAT and ACT will likely align to them.
The standards have become contentious in some Christian circles, and homeschoolers have often been at the center of the controversy. Homeschooling mom Jenni White led the charge against Common Core in Oklahoma, and her group, "Restore Oklahoma Public Education," was at the forefront of the repeal of Common Core recently signed by Governor Mary Fallin. Megan King of Lawrence, Kansas pulled two of her three sons out of their public elementary school, in part, because of the math standards, and she co-founded Kansans Against Common Core. Other parents see the standards as real progress. Physicist Chad Orzel, in a blog entitled "Thanks, Common Core," was grateful to report that his daughter was now "actually understanding the meaning of the process," and not just learning rote problems. John Tuma, a board member of the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators writes that, "The 5th grade (Common Core) standard that says, 'Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text' is not the problem." He goes on to write that: "The fact that the curriculum is tied to the Common Core Standards is not the problem either, but rather it is what worldview the curriculum is tied to that we should be concerned about." Tuma concludes, "Frankly, obsessing about public-school standards is just a bad idea for homeschoolers." more >>