For Heaven's Sake
Is heaven a physical place or a spiritual reality, asks pastor and author Mark Buchanan as he ponders the implications. And why is it important anyway? We may glibly say someone is "so heavenly minded he's no earthly good," meaning, "too much pining for the hereafter incapacitates us for the here and now." But Stephen and other Bible personalities who kept going because of where they were going may disagree.
Generally we have no problem being earthly minded, but we have to work at being heavenly minded. Take as an example the simple task of remembering what the pastor preached each Sunday this past month. How much of his or her teaching have you incorporated into your daily life? Unless our minds are stimulated by experience, says the author of How to Prevent Death by Sermon we may soon forget the spiritual insights he shared. The author offers pastors some creative ideas for turning worship services into memorable events.
One experience that gains our attention quickly is deprivation. Fasting is a form of intentional deprivation that focuses our mind on heavenly things as we deny our body the earthly thing it craves. The days of Lent prior to Easter encourage us to fast, or give up something dear to us, so that we are reminded to direct our thoughts and hearts toward the magnitude of what Jesus accomplished for us on the Cross. That's why Lenten discipline matters, says theologian Christopher Holmes.
These are just some of our good feature articles this week. Here are a few more highlights.
Amazing Grace, the story about William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery, is opening in Canada on Friday, March 23rd. Comment magazine describes it as an excellent movie, compelling in every way. Russ Kuykendall, the reviewer for Comment says, go see it!
Also in movies, we've enjoyed Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and other fantasy stories rooted in biblical themes. Now there's Walden Media's Terabithia about a boy and girl who create an imaginary kingdom for themselves. The film parallels the book by the same name fairly well, says Canadian Christianity's reviewer, Peter Chattaway. And it's definitely by an author who is a Christian. Katherine Paterson had planned to be a missionary, but became a writer. She firmly believes that " … who you are informs what you write, on a very deep level."
Have a good week, and go ahead—be heavenly minded!
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Other New Articles This Week
Bitter Root or Sweet Fruit?
Forgiveness is at the heart of a good marriage. This is a story about a wife who learned to forgive.
Time to Recognize Value of Christian Education Options
Maclean's magazine did it again. It failed to include significant schools in its survey.
In the Spotlight with Ashley Cleveland
A believer who had lost her way—Ashley Cleveland, now a recovered alcoholic and drug abuser, is grateful to God who set her free.
Chinese Christians Persevere
Persecution of Christians in China continues, yet Christianity is still spreading rapidly. The Chinese division directors for Christian Aid Mission (now Intercede International) offer reasons why.
How Is The Voice of the Martyrs in Canada Related to VOM in the United States?
Voice of the Martyrs is a distinctly Canadian mission dedicated to be a voice for persecuted Christians around the world.
Sportscaster Announces Divine Intervention
For 40 years of sports broadcasting Pat Summerall commanded the airwaves, and at the same time, lost control of his life. In his book he reflects on life and its ultimate meaning.
Alberta Man Sells 'Holy Water' to Spread the Word
The company's owner sees the water as an opportunity to start conversations, give his testimony, and spread the Gospel.
MPs Back Funding for Anti-Cancer Vaccine
House of Commons' finance committee MPs want the government to fund immunizations for young women aged 9 to 26 to guard against sexually transmitted cervical cancer.
Evangelical Body Affirms Concern for Global Warming
In the U.S. the board of the National Association of Evangelicals affirmed that "creation care" is an important moral issue deserving the organization's support and commitment.
Fear a Factor Among School Dropouts
Fear for personal safety is one reason some Alberta teenagers decide to drop out of school, the Edmonton Sun reported last week.