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Over 46,000 people in the US died last year from opioid overdose. Suicide rates are at all time highs. A pharmacist told me that when he began his career 30 years ago, he rarely prescribed anti-depressants. Today, it is the number one prescription he fills. What is going on here?

Here are two pieces: One of dealing with overthinking, the other on the benefits of meditation. Meditation is biblical and the benefits are clear. As we lead others to pray, how can we enlarge our understanding of uniting ourselves with the mind of Christ?

Preaching the right questions

Shakespeare died 400 years ago today (April 23). Often his writing could be characterized by the ability “to pursue a vision of artistic beauty even when it leads them into intellectual confusion and uncertainty, as opposed to a preference for philosophical certainty over artistic beauty.” 

The tendency is to offer people points that lead to conclusions. Jesus’ teachings, however, often left the hearer grappling. Formulas are popular in marketing and in preaching  (too often rehashed success mantras and cliches), but searching and wrestling leads people to do the work themselves. Something to think about.

Do you speak young latino?

There are 55 million latinos in the US (1/3rd are under 18). Many churches do not have services for Spanish-speaking adults. It’s clear that the priority is not just about language, but about addressing the growing numbers of Spanish-speaking (fluent in English) students whose parent’s first language is Spanish.

Cisgender, transgender and cultural change

One of the first places to identify cultural shifts is in the ever-evolving Webster’s dictionary. Cisgender, transgender and other gender terms are so commonly used that they are being codified. Four challenges:

1. To gain a thorough understanding of the differences between terms because terms apply to real people who have often dealt with great emotional pain.

2. To suspend judgement long enough to try to understand what it is like to live in another person’s shoes.

3. To build wide relationships so the redemptive work of God can be seen re-creating healing and wholeness in the lives of those dealing with gender issues.

Attack on Philosophy

Recently, notable thought leaders have been asking the question: Is philosophy even necessary? This often comes from a materialistic framework of the universe where science is thought to answer the deep questions of life and existence; questions about meaning and purpose. The purpose-driven books and messages impacted hard. This is a pushback and it is important to follow.

What color is your church?