You may be better organized than I am, but in my overscheduled life, every once in a while I miss an appointment. Then comes the dreaded e-mail: “I have on my calendar that we were doing lunch today at noon. I looked for you, but didn’t see you. Call me . . .”
Growing up, I watched Saturday morning television cartoons in which a character was making a decision. On one shoulder an angel hovered, saying, "Do the right thing!" But on the other shoulder perched a devil urging the character to do the wrong thing. You already know what happened: as the angel looked increasingly anxious, the cartoon character chose to do the wrong thing.
Paul's Galatians didn't watch TV cartoons, but they probably had a similar model of decision making.
When the angel of the Lord told Elijah to go to Mount Horeb, Elijah knew he would encounter God. After all, Horeb was where God spoke to Moses with fire and to Israel with a storm. But for Elijah, God didn’t show up as expected.
"I eventually realized that leaders are not made by books or workshops," says Lisa Yebuah of Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. "Leaders are people who marry their knowledge to action."
“No religion” is now the single largest group in England and Wales, according to British Social Attitudes data. Consisting of nearly half of the population, this group is twice the size of those who identify as Anglicans and four times the size of the Catholic population. A similar pattern prevails across Europe. The decline of Catholics in Britain would be more severe were it not for Christian immigrants from Africa and Asia. The data show that the church is poor at making converts and at keeping cradle believers. The Anglican and Catholic churches lose at least ten members for every convert (Guardian, May 27).