Today's Christians are "strangers and pilgrims" on planet Earth (Hebrews 11:13), living in anticipation of the soon-coming Kingdom of God wherein will be our true citizenship. Yet each of us is born in some nation, somewhere. How do we respond to our nation's holidays? And what if those holidays are more somber than joyous?
Researchers have found that heavy users of the social networking site Facebook tend to be more insecure and self-absorbed than others who do not use the popular site. "Individuals higher in narcissism and lower in self-esteem spent more time on the site and filled their pages with more self-promotional content," according to a recent York University press release.
Perhaps you have heard the saying, "If you are happy, you are not paying attention"? Look at the world around us. Billions of people are living in abject poverty. Starvation, disease and violence are bringing countless lives to a premature end. Millions are jobless, unable to provide for their families. Many more are stuck in low-paying, unfulfilling jobs, struggling under crushing debt. Hard-working people who have saved for decades are watching their life's savings dwindle away. Economic stress adds to pressure on relationships, while millions endure unhappy marriages or experience painful conflicts between parents and children. If you are unhappy, you are certainly not alone. As we see so much unnecessary pain in the lives of people we care about, can we think of three good reasons to be unhappy?
From December 26–January 1, several million Americans will be celebrating Kwanzaa, a "harvest festival" first proclaimed in 1966 to celebrate blessings of African heritage. How should we view this recently-devised holiday?
Little Angela Kasner, daughter of a Lutheran pastor in Russian-dominated East Germany, was barely two years old when an American radio preacher published in his magazine an astonishing statement: "The way is being prepared for a colossal third force in world politics—a European Federation of Nations more powerful than either Russia or the United States!… We have shown years in advance what would happen to Russia's ill-fated Empire in Eastern Europe" (Plain Truth, December 1956, p. 3).