Formations 12.17.2017: Robert Mugabe’s Legacy

On November 21, Robert Mugabe stepped down as president of Zimbabwe after thirty-seven years of rule. Following his country’s transition from British colonial rule (when it was called Rhodesia), Mugabe oversaw heavy investment in the nation’s social services.

Formations 07.30.2017: Life-giving Water

In the previous lesson, Judah’s restoration was described using the metaphor of the life-giving breath of God. Here, it is described as a river of water that flows from God’s presence. Where before, God’s presence had departed because of the people’s sins, now God has returned to a rebuilt temple with life-giving power.

Flame: Esther’s Strengthened Heart

Esther showed great love for her people and for her uncle Mordecai, but she also showed that she had a great deal of courage in her heart. Ask the children to think about times when they have needed to show love to others or needed to be brave so they could help others.

Formations 07.23.2017: Looking at the Valley

In November 2015, at the Old Salem Cemetery near Uvalda, Georgia, Emory students uncovered a grave that had been lost for nearly 67 years. These students were in Montgomery County as part of Emory University’s Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project. This project seeks to use journalistic and historical methods to investigate and understand either unpunished or unsolved murders that were racially motivated.

Formations 07.16.2017: Jerusalem’s Collapse

Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He first gained fame for his Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997), in which he traced the geographic, environmental, and biological factors that led to the rise of Western civilization.

Formations 07.09.2017: Ezekiel’s Silence

John Cage’s three movement composition “4’ 33”” begins the moment the pianist sits down and closes the lid. After three sections, each one adding up to four minutes and thirty-three seconds, the performance is over. No notes are played, but to say that no music is up to debate.

Formations 07.02.2017: Excessive Politeness Can Be Deadly

A recent study in Seattle has concluded that “overly polite” 911 operators are partly to blame for slower police response times and, ultimately, loss of life for some callers. The report, released in November of last year, found the operations of Seattle’s 911 call center “potentially dangerous.”

Uniform 08.16.2015: Life or Death?

Have you ever taken one of those quizzes meant to determine your personality through a few (often weird) questions? Your collective answers then assign you either some label or some reward.

Crossroads: Hope – Ezekiel

Sometimes our world seems hopeless. Whenever I see the news about a natural disaster, a terrible crash, or a horrific tragedy, the world seems hopeless in those moments. But then something happens.

Uniform 11.23.2014: A Step in a New Direction

On April 15, 2013, thousands of runners participated in the annual Boston Marathon. Most of them had trained for weeks, building up their bodies for the strenuous race. They had persisted, getting up early to run each morning, improving their pace and hoping for a personal record.

Uniform 11.16.2014: The Presence and Character of God

Water covers 71 percent of the surface of the Earth. Without it, life here is impossible. It’s fitting, then, that God gives Ezekiel an image of water to help him understand the far-reaching presence and the dynamic character of God.

Uniform 11.09.2014: Sacred Space in a Chaotic World

If you’re like me—and I have a hunch that you are—your heart and mind are running wild from the moment you swing your legs over the side of the bed and get up. In fact, I’d wager that the thoughts started earlier, during your fitful night of sleep.

Uniform 11.02.2014: If You Build It, God Will Come

In the iconic 1989 film, Field of Dreams, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella is moved by a mysterious voice to plow under most of his cornfield and build a baseball field. “If you build it, he will come,” the voice whispers.

Formations 04.06.2014: Hopeful Waiting

I’m writing this article the day after teaching my Mercer University students about the Babylonian exile and its place in biblical history. It is nearly impossible to overstate the influence of this literally world-changing event.