Identity theft is a modern crime that can ruin not only a person’s bank account but their life! Simon Bunce of Hampshire, England not only had his credit-card number stolen on-line but was arrested and falsely accused of being a pedophile when his card number was used to buy child pornography. Fortunately, the story has a somewhat happy ending, as Bunce was eventually cleared by the police.
Every Christian is engaged in the battle of the devil and the world today. Shocked by the culture, disappointed by the grasp of the evil one, those who take comfort in Christ are already in the midst of a fight. Those on the other side believe a story that is not one from the lips of the Triune God. Those on the other side ridicule and belittle a historical account of a savior passed on from generation to generation. Those on the other side proudly declare war on those who trust in the God who created and redeemed. And so there seems to be no other option. Prepare for the war. Ready your weapons.
Today I learned that at my school we are not allowed to “celebrate Santa Clause.” Why? Because he isn’t real. That’s a bad argument if you ask me. Why? Because he is very real.
Every now and then the duties of the pastoral vocation overwhelm me. Sometimes I find being a pastor is painful and leaves me restless and unsatisfied. It usually is not the preaching and teaching which delivers the struggle. It is also not necessarily the handing over of the of the gifts, the administration of the Sacraments, that are a problem. No, the issue is usually rooted in what the older theologians discussed under the title of Seelsorge, an old German word meaning the, “care of souls.”
She wondered how long she had been there. It started to feel like a long time only because her feet began to ache. But she could not stop her endless march down the shiny laminate paths. One foot plodded in front of the other as she tried not to count her steps. She was not even looking around anymore. It was a losing battle trying to ignore the monotony of every stride. Too long, she thought. But what else can I do?
By Bob Hiller –
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