How to Read Ephesians

The 'mystery' of Jesus Christ is both the key to our salvation and the central theme in St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:9; 3:4, 9). The mystery of Christ has various dimensions. Jesus is the Savior of the world, and he came to die on the cross for the sins of all people ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù no matter what their background

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How to Read Romans

The letter of St. Paul to the Romans is a very special epistle. It displays the apostle's theological brilliance as well as his deep love and spirituality. It is St. Paul's longest and most inÌÄåøÌâåÂÌâ‰Û_uential letter.

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How to Read Galatians

Although not quite as long (or as complicated) as his epistle to the Romans, the letter of St. Paul to the Galatians is also focused on this primary question: Does one have to be circumcised in order to be a full Christian? Again, as he said in Romans, the answer is no. Circumcision is not necessary. It does not communicate grace. Baptism ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù not circumcision ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù communicates grace and enters us into God's covenant family.

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How to Read 1st & 2nd Corinthians

The city of Corinth was a busy place. A lot of trading was done in the city, and it was known for its great economic prosperity and success. Attracting many people from all walks of life, Corinth was also known for its rampant sinfulness. It was kind of like the Las Vegas of its time

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Love Hurts

Try to picture it now.

When the earthquake subsided and the darkness lifted that Friday afternoon, it must have resembled something like a crime scene. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your mind and heart now as you discern the site.

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Thou Shalt NOT Have Fun

My image of God the Father, enthroned in heaven in flowing white robes and Birkenstock sandals, was overshadowed by my certainty that he didn't want me to have any fun. Not only was God all about rules, he'd drop anybody that strayed off his path. Parochial school should have taught me how to live but instead I learned how not to die and burn. The result was that I treated Moses' Commandments with the same reverence I reserved for one of Letterman's 'Top Ten' lists.

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Close Your Eyes: Porn and The Sixth Commandment

I was once told that the easiest way to remember commandment number 'six' is that it sounds like 'sex.' At the time I thought it was just another lame example from my youth minister.

The funny thing is – I still remember it.

What wasn't funny, however, is that at the time I somehow thought the 'don't commit adultery' commandment had little to do with me, an unmarried sixteen year old. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The truth is that this commandment isn't only for married people. It's violated by all ages … including teenagers … almost daily.

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St. Joseph: The Ultimate Dad

In St. Joseph, then, we're given a glimpse into the heart of God the Father. It would be completely illogical to think, after all the trouble of the incarnation, that he would fail to choose a man who reflected his divine image of paternal love with the highest possible measure of human faithfulness.

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I’m Lost: Understanding How Men and Women Communicate

Also, eye contact is important. How many times does the person you're speaking to feel they have your undivided attention? Turn off screens … get away from them. Eye contact is the quickest and simplest way to acknowledge Christ in the other.

Now, if you're having a 'conversation' through a screen, ask yourself if that's the best medium to be using to have that conversation. Words can be misread and mistaken. Do you ever text just 'because you don't want to get into a long conversation?' Go the extra mile. Don't text when you can call. Don't call when you can sit face to face. Don't sit face to face and have your mind in another area code. A huge part of authentic communication is emotional presence, not only physical presence.

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Barbies and the Baby Jesus: A History of the Nativity Set

We have four Nativity sets in my house: not out of overindulgence but out of sheer necessity. One set is for my five year old, who likes to take a more 'interactive' approach to the Nativity, including putting Disney princesses and Barbies into the Biblical narrative. Last year when I asked why the baby Jesus was in Barbie's convertible, she responded, 'Barbie is baby-sitting, Daddy… the trip to Bethlehem left Mary and Joseph very tired.'

You may have a Nativity set beneath your Christmas tree or on a table inside your house. You almost certainly have one on display somewhere around your local Church…

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