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By the Rev. Sarah Halverson | August 9, 2013
The nation is engaged in a conversation on immigration and, therefore, our congregations should be too. After all, this is not just an abstract philosophical topic - this cuts straight to the core of who we are as Americans and, ultimately, who we are as people of faith. Those of us who claim one of the Abrahamic traditions know that we have been called to care for the immigrant among us. It is a biblical mandate. And any of us living on this side of the border knows (or at least should know)
NEWS
By Msgr. Wilbur Davis | April 23, 2011
The Resurrection of Jesus is, for the Christian, the essential key for understanding just about everything, not only specifically "religious" matters. The Easter event announces that death and all the ways of death have been defeated. Jesus took death into the tomb. He was raised to life, and so death's grip on the world has been broken. Backing up, we must ask what it is that went so wretchedly wrong that the crowds who joyously welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, laying before him branches and their cloaks, would several days later cry out, "crucify Him. " Why do we call that day "Good" Friday?
NEWS
By The Rev. Sarah Halverson | October 14, 2011
I confess I am moved by the "Occupy Wall Street" phenomenon. Not only is it occurring in the Mecca of our national financial district, it is occurring across the United States. While some would dismiss it as a bunch of anarchists or young kids that don't know anything about hard work, I believe it is indicative of something deeper stirring in the hearts of Americans throughout the country. There is a dissatisfaction with the status quo, a refusal to go on blindly acquiescing to an America where the few have it all. Assertions of "We are the 99% " declare that this is not simply an America that belongs to only those with the money to buy it. A tired and frustrated people are rising and refusing to take it anymore, rejuvenated at last by a unity of spirit that is catching on in cities all over the nation.
NEWS
By Billy Graham | January 31, 2014
Q: Last weekend, my husband started getting his tax records together, and like every other year, he's figuring out ways to cheat on his taxes. He says the government would only waste the money anyway, but I've told him that doesn't make it right. Am I being too picky? — Mrs. N.N. A: No, you aren't being too picky, and as tax season approaches, I hope your letter will encourage others to be honest and resist the temptation to cheat on their taxes. The Roman Empire of Jesus' day had its problems with inefficiency and corruption, and it often didn't meet the needs of its citizens and subjects.
FEATURES
March 20, 2008
The Costa Mesa Senior Center’s Good Friday services will include a lecture by Aramaic Bible scholar Rocco Errico, whom organizers hope will provide a unique perspective on the life of Jesus. “He’s such a tremendous scholar and has such an important message about Jesus and who he really was,” said Senior Pastor James Turrell of the Costa Mesa Center for Spiritual Discovery, which is hosting the event. “The tendency is to make Jesus into a Western figure, when he was really a Jew and a Semite … it’s caused a lot of confusion among traditional Christian churches in terms of how they see and understand Christ.
NEWS
August 19, 2000
Young Chang The water tank on Donna Brown's toilet cracked this week and drenched the bathroom carpet. Instead of panicking, Brown, 66, and her 40-year-old daughter, Cindy, calmly turned off the water and figured out the problem. Then they called a repairman. The Costa Mesa residents believe they were divinely guided to the solution. They didn't get mad, and they didn't wonder why it had to happen. They also trust that good will somehow come from the experience.
NEWS
By Rabbi Marc Gellman, Tribune Media Services and By Rabbi Marc Gellman, Tribune Media Services | September 28, 2012
Q: I'm sure you've been following the story about a papyrus claiming that Jesus had a wife. What's your opinion about this? - M., Long Island. N.Y. A: In the midst of my intense Jewish immersion in the High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (and again, let me wish a happy 5773 to all my Jewish readers!), it is spiritually balancing to me this week to address the question of whether or not Jesus had a wife. This high-profile story has surfaced in the normally theologically indifferent general secular press because professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School recently revealed the existence of a papyrus fragment that supposedly quotes Jesus directly as referring to his wife, whom he identifies as "Mary.
LOCAL
December 18, 2005
Holiday humbugs struck two Newport Beach homes Friday night, stealing baby Jesus figures from yard displays in the 400 block of Santa Ana Avenue. Newport Beach police aren't sure who is responsible for the thefts or whether any similar crimes have occurred in the city this winter, Sgt. Evan Sailor said. The figures were each worth about $40, he said. In 2004, a Costa Mesa church was the victim of a nativity theft when someone stole a plywood baby Jesus painted by Sunday school children.
FEATURES
By CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON | November 17, 2007
“God is holding onto you. He will not let you go! You are secure in His love. Nothing — absolutely nothing — can separate you from the love of God.”   “Centerpieces are so central and make such a difference,” the woman said. “The right one makes it easy to set everything around.” I chuckled when I heard the woman’s comment in the market. Yes, centerpieces are indeed central. I thought of her words a few days later when I found myself singing a song called, “Jesus be the Center.
NEWS
By Billy Graham | February 1, 2013
Q: I know the angels were very much a part of Jesus' birth (for example, in making the announcements to Mary and the shepherds), but do they still do anything? Or are angels no longer active? — Mrs. J. McL. A: The Bible makes it clear that God's angels are still very much at work, although their ministry is largely unseen by us. Even when they take human form (as they can do on occasion), they may not be recognized as angels. The author of the book of Hebrews wrote: "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2)
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Billy Graham | April 18, 2014
Q: My wife gets after me because she says I spend too much time at the gym. I admit I do go there every day for several hours or so after work, but God wants us to take care of our bodies, doesn't he? — M.J. A: Yes, of course God wants us to take care of the bodies he has given us, and proper exercise is certainly part of that. The Bible says, "You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). At the same time, I urge you to take seriously what your wife is saying, and ask yourself why you're spending so much time at the gym. Frankly, the reasons may be hard for you to face honestly, but you need to do it anyway, for your sake and the sake of your marriage and family.
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NEWS
By Billy Graham | April 11, 2014
Q: I don't mean to offend you, but I've tried to read the Bible and found it kind of dull. And yet some of my friends find it exciting. What's wrong? Why don't I get anything out of it? — P.D. A: In reality, the Bible should be the most exciting book you'll ever read! The reason is, this isn't just another book; it is God's Word, and through its pages God speaks to us. Think of it: The Creator of the universe wants to talk to you! What does He want to tell you? First, He wants to tell you about Himself — who He is, what He is like, and what He has done for you. We can understand some things about God by looking at the world He created, but we only fully understand Him by discovering what He's told us in the Bible.
NEWS
By Rabbi Marc Gellman | March 21, 2014
Q: I grew up with five siblings, but after Dad died, our weak relationships went from bad to worse. To this day, two of my siblings and I get along fine. We've admitted to the pain we caused each other and asked for forgiveness. My relationships with the other three are not fine. I've tried asking them what I did to cause them pain, and though their answers are vague, I figure if they're hurting, I need to ask for forgiveness. Each time, they say they want nothing more to do with me. I feel I am supposed to ask for forgiveness seven times 70, but their cruel lies about me make me keep my distance from them.
NEWS
By Mark Davis | February 28, 2014
Lent, a religious season that is about so much more than avoiding chocolate, is drawing near. For many in the Christian faith, Lent is a time to reflect on the awful journey toward death that led to Jesus' crucifixion. One question that arises often on that journey is, "Why did Jesus have to die?" The most common answer to this persistent question was articulated by Anselm, the 11th-century Archbishop of Canterbury. He referenced God's justice and love. In keeping with the practices of his day, Anselm argued that it would have been an offense against God's honor for human sin to go unpunished.
NEWS
By Billy Graham | February 21, 2014
Q: I can't get around very easily because of some physical disabilities. They've gotten worse recently, and now I've had to stop going to my church because it isn't handicapped accessible. Will God understand why I don't go anymore? — Mrs. A.B. A: I want to assure you that God understands your situation, and he doesn't look down on you because you can't do everything you once did. The Bible says, "For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses" (Hebrews 4:15)
NEWS
By Billy Graham | February 14, 2014
Q: My nephew says he plans to have fun in life and not bother with God right now, because he knows God will forgive him if he asks him to, even if it's at the last minute. I told him he's being foolish, but am I right? — Mrs. F.P.L. * A: Yes, you are right, and I sincerely hope your nephew will stop and think again about the path he's taking. The Bible warns, "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 16:25). Does this mean God won't forgive us if we've lived a life of sin, but then sincerely repent and turn to Christ just before we die?
NEWS
By Rabbi Marc Gellman | February 7, 2014
Q: I'm a member of the United States Power Squadrons, and every year we hold a nonsectarian memorial service in a church for members who died the previous year. The doxology is sung after the offering. This response refers to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. While I am a Christian, I think this is disrespectful to Jews and other non-Christians attending the service. Wouldn't it be better to use a response that refers simply to "The Lord thy God"? — C., via godsquadquestion@aol.com A: The first question I'd ask you is whether by "nonsectarian" you mean a nonreligious service or an interfaith service.
NEWS
By Billy Graham | January 31, 2014
Q: Last weekend, my husband started getting his tax records together, and like every other year, he's figuring out ways to cheat on his taxes. He says the government would only waste the money anyway, but I've told him that doesn't make it right. Am I being too picky? — Mrs. N.N. A: No, you aren't being too picky, and as tax season approaches, I hope your letter will encourage others to be honest and resist the temptation to cheat on their taxes. The Roman Empire of Jesus' day had its problems with inefficiency and corruption, and it often didn't meet the needs of its citizens and subjects.
NEWS
By Jim Carnett | December 16, 2013
Christmas is about the babe in the manger. Let's face it. Most of us are comfortable with Jesus as the helpless infant. He's innocent, vulnerable, humble and a threat to no one. It may also be convenient for us to treat him as nothing more than a fairy tale. But his time spent in the manger was a fleeting moment in first-century history. Jesus may yet be lying in straw on moldering canvases executed in oils by Renaissance artists, but that was a one-time deal. The colossus of the cosmos is no longer contained in a nativity setting.
NEWS
By the Rev. Sarah Halverson | August 9, 2013
The nation is engaged in a conversation on immigration and, therefore, our congregations should be too. After all, this is not just an abstract philosophical topic - this cuts straight to the core of who we are as Americans and, ultimately, who we are as people of faith. Those of us who claim one of the Abrahamic traditions know that we have been called to care for the immigrant among us. It is a biblical mandate. And any of us living on this side of the border knows (or at least should know)
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