Weekly religion rail, with items on text messaging in Finland, Promise Keepers opening a conference to women, getting to know Lyn Ott, and more.
Worshippers in Finland might soon be allowed to donate money to their church without having to attend services.
According to wire reports, churches in Finland – the home of cell phone company Nokia – can’t raise funds by text under current laws. Dean Matti Pikkarainen of Oulu Cathedral said he aimed to raise the issue at a nationwide church meeting next month.
Pikkarainen said he believes churches are ready for this kind of modernization. Parishioners could use their phones to donate money after the end of church services, so as not to disturb other worshippers, he added. Text messages would also give people more freedom to donate as they would not have to come to church.
Promise Keepers to allow women to attend conference
The evangelical men's organization Promise Keepers is opening a conference to women this summer after 20 years of men-only events.
According to wire reports, the Denver-based organization is urging men to bring "the women in their lives" to a July 31-Aug. 1 conference marking the group's anniversary.
Revenue for Promise Keepers has declined for several years, and the group is looking to reinvent itself. Past efforts to spur membership included waiving conference admission fees as well as bringing in stand-up comics.
According to a 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, fully 79 percent of Christians in the U.S. say they believe that Christ will return to Earth someday.
“The Bookends of the Christian Life” by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington
What do bookends have to do with the Christian life? They are a metaphor that Jerry Bridges has developed over the years, and which he and co-author Bob Bevington flesh out. The two “bookends” explain not only how we as sinners can be made acceptable to a holy God but also we can find the power to change. They are thus essential for the Christian life.
The authors use their extended metaphor to help readers answer questions like: How can I overcome persistent guilt? How can I deal with the pressure to measure up? Where can I find the motivation it takes to grow? How can I live the Christian life with both my head and my heart? How can I be sure God loves me? How can I change in an authentic and lasting way?
So what are the bookends of the Christian life? Christ’s righteousness as it is transferred to dependent believers, and the Holy Spirit’s power as it enables their transformation.
Get to Know … Lyn Ott
Lynfield George Ott (1926–1998), better known as Lyn Ott, was an American painter and a follower of Indian mystic and spiritual master Meher Baba.
Ott was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary degenerative eye disease that leads almost inevitably to blindness. But Ott's father still encouraged him to pursue his interest in painting.
After establishing a studio in New York City, he moved to Woodstock, N.Y. In 1964, Ott and his wife came in contact Meher Baba.
In his book “In Quest of the Face of God,” Ott wrote that prior to meeting Meher Baba, art had been his religion, but after meeting Meher Baba, Ott became devoted to him and painted him almost exclusively.
Despite increasingly poor eyesight, Ott produced approximately 500 paintings of Meher Baba. His artistic career was ended by his complete blindness in 1976. Ott's paintings of Meher Baba are found in collections around the world.
Karma: the integrated collection of good and evil that a person accumulates during their present and former lives. Hindus, Buddhists and some others believe that the amount and type of karma will determine a person's state when they are reincarnated in their next life. Similarly, the sum total of one's acts in previous lives determines one's current life. – religioustolerance.org
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Bolivia
Roman Catholic: 95 percent
Protestant (Evangelical Methodist): 5 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service