The Church and The Christian are “the Yeast”

The Church and The Christian are “the Yeast”

“The kingdom of Heaven is like yeast …”

In February of this year, NPR relates this story originating from the Washington Post: The man who walked into Dave Cutlip’s tattoo parlor near Bal­timore was hard to miss. His face bore a gang tattoo. The man sought Cutlip’s help in literally covering up his violent past. “I could see the hurt in his eyes,” Cutlip says.

Dave Cutlip couldn’t help the man — the tattoos were too close to his eyes. But it got him thinking. Many young people get tattoos that they come to regret —a few, like the one-time gang member, can mark them for the rest of their days. Inking over a tattoo can cost hundreds of dollars — and getting one removed by laser is even pricier. So Dave Cutlip and his wife Elizabeth decided they would donate their services to help indi­viduals hide racist and gang-related tattoos. The Cutlip’s put out the word via Facebook: “Sometimes people make bad choices and sometimes people change. We believe there is already enough hate in this world, and we want to make a difference.” Continue reading

A Humble Approach to Adoption

A Humble Approach to Adoption

“… although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to little ones.”

A relatively recent January, Parade Magazine article by Rosemary Zibart, entitled Their Faces Spoke to the Heart, states that there are nearly 130,000 children in the United States waiting to be adopted — most of them are the hardest to place: older children, minorities, and brothers and sisters. Many of these kids have known only abuse and neglect all their lives; they’re angry, they’re afraid, and they’ve suffered every kind of physical, emotional and behavioral problem imaginable.

Ten years ago, a social worker in New Mexico came up with a new adoption strategy. Tired of the same static, expressionless snapshots that she would show prospective parents, she asked some professional photographers to shoot portraits of these children that would capture the spirit and personality of each child. The photographers readily volunteered. Families consid­ering adopting were then invited to a special showing of these stunning photographs at a local gallery. Continue reading

Inspiring Joy in Others by Christ

Inspiring Joy in Others by Christ

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”    

For more than fifty of his more than eighty years, Nurney Mason was a barber in the United States House of Representatives. Nurney Ma­son cut hair out of a tiny booth in the basement of the Rayburn Office Building — his little stall saw nearly as much history as the floor of the Capitol itself. And every day, he brought to his job not only his barbering skills, but kindness, optimism and encouragement He would greet everyone — whether powerful Congressman or lowest-level staffer — with a solid handshake and a knowing smile. Mason stayed upbeat, day after day, the vibrations of his clippers surely jarring his wrists over the half century he worked.

He was asked by one of his Congressional customers how he stayed so upbeat and happy all the time.

Nurney Mason replied simply, “I just make (joy) right here. I create joy where I stand.Continue reading