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May 21 2005 By virtueonline Why What We Believe About God is Crucial

In the classical world of Greece, Rome and Israel, the gods or Fate, played games with people, often with lethal consequences, as the Greeks and the Trojans discovered in Homer’s Iliad, and Odyssey. The prophets of Israel fought against a view of the gods that celebrated fertility cults and demanded child sacrifices.

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May 11 2005 By virtueonline The Unpredictable, Inexplicable, Uncontrollable Presence

Could this not have been what the apostles’ experienced on that day of Pentecost in Jerusalem? They were meeting in fellowship and prayer when the presence of God was experienced as the blowing of a violent wind which filled the house, and filled them. God was recreating them.

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May 08 2005 By virtueonline The Ascension of Jesus - The Relationship of Time & Eternity

Thus prayed St. Bernard of Clairvaux in the eleventh century. He is referring to St. Luke's account of the Ascension at the end of his Gospel and in the first chapter of Acts. "He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky?

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April 29 2005 By virtueonline YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN

Jesus would also fulfill the vocation of the suffering servant through fulfilling the Father's will. "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations." (Isaiah 42:1)

As a servant he will fulfill the will of the Father. "I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." (John 5:30) "Here I am, I have come to do your will." (Hebrews 10:9)

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April 29 2005 By virtueonline Your Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven

This was the prayer of Mary after the angel Gabriel had revealed to her the will of God in bearing his son Jesus. “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38) Mary became the bearer of the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God because she prayed that God’s will might be done in her life. Her life, and the life of the world, was transformed because she lived that prayer.

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April 28 2005 By virtueonline Christian Witness In A World of Faiths

What is off-putting to those who do not share our faith is, not so much, the content of Christianity, but the way in which it sometimes has been communicated. So the primary question in our day may be, what is the appropriate manner in which to witness to one's Christian faith to those who do not share it? St. Paul's speech to the Athenians (Acts 17:22-31) gives us some pointers.

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April 20 2005 By virtueonline The Limits of Moralism

Anyone reading this article cannot fail to be moved by her appeal. She acknowledges that we need to combat ego, "to dethrone ourselves from the center of the world and put others there." She admits that "we need training in compassion because it does not come to us naturally." The problem with her case, and the problem with all kinds of moralism, is that it urges change of behavior without providing the means by which the behavior can be changed.

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April 03 2005 By virtueonline DOUBTING THOMAS - by Ted Schroder

This desire for first-hand verification is perfectly normal. It is especially understandable when extraordinary claims such as these are made. To have seen and spoken with someone who was certifiably dead cries out for some kind of proof. That is why it is so difficult for modern man to believe anything unless he has had direct experience of it. The resurrection of Jesus is no easier to believe today than it was two thousand years ago. Some people find it easier to believe than others.

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March 26 2005 By virtueonline THROUGH CLOSED DOORS - by Ted Schroder

At various stages in our lives we find ourselves in a room with doors closed and locked because of our fears. It is then that we crave the joy of the liberating presence of the risen Jesus.

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March 18 2005 By virtueonline The Spirituality of the Cross

A friend of mine was interviewing for the position of pastor to a church in south Florida. In reviewing his ministry experience he shared with the search committee how each position that he had filled had a particular challenge and mission to accomplish. Each one had been different.

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