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Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts

January 2011 Archives

In the News: Does Facebook Make Us More or Less Social?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

The hit movie, The Social Network, paints an ironic, sad picture of relationships in the age of Facebook. The creators of the most powerful social media website in the world, one that focuses on having lots of friends, are utterly […]

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Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Reaching Out to God for Mercy

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Reaching Out to God for Mercy Psalm 28:1-9 Listen to my prayer for mercy      as I cry out to you for help,      as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary. Psalm 28:2 In the church where I […]

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Words for the Ages, Words for Your Soul: “Jesus, I Come”

posted by Mark D. Roberts

At a recent Laity Lodge retreat, our musician/worship leader was Sandra McCracken. Sandra, a popular singer/songwriter, has released several solo albums and participated in many others. Her lyrical depth and engaging voice have made her one of the most sought-after […]

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Should the Government Crack Down on Pedestrians Who Use Earbuds?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

According to the New York Times, lawmakers in several states are trying to limit the use of earbuds by . . . not drivers . . . but pedestrians: “In New York, a bill is pending in the legislature’s transportation […]

Buffalo Consumption at All-Time High

posted by Mark D. Roberts

According to the New York Times, more Americans are eating buffalo meat today than ever before. Why? Mainly because buffalo meat is high in protein and low in fat. And the fat in a buffalo is the good kind. “People […]

Billy Graham on Doing Things Differently and Evangelical Challenges

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Christianity Today online is featuring an interview with Billy Graham. This is really quite exceptional, since he doesn’t do many interviews anymore. The first part of the interview has to do with aging. I encourage you to read it, no […]

Oh-oh! Sleeping Next to Your Pet is a No-No!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

If you like curling up with your dog or cat when you sleep, USA Today has bad news for you:  “Sleeping next to pets could be harmful, study says.” According to professors of veterinary medicine, there is a chance that […]

NIMBYitis Alert: Not In My Back Yard!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Most Americans want things to get better in our nation. We want the economy to flourish. We want the government to be solvent. We want affordable, excellent medical care. We want clean energy. We want all of these things . […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Standing on Solid Ground

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Standing On Solid Ground Psalm 26:1-12 Now I stand on solid ground,      and I will publicly praise the LORD. Psalm 26:12 We don’t know the exact context for Psalm 26. It could be that David was impressed with the […]

Leading a Church in Challenging Financial Times

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This is the topic of my latest entry in the Patheos Preachers Portal. It’s appropriate for all church leaders, I believe, not just for “preachers.” Here’s the beginning of the article: In the last month, I’ve spoken with several pastors […]

The Social Network, The King’s Speech, and the “Homosexuality” of King David

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yes, there is a connection between these three topics. The connection is friendship. Please allow me to explain. The Social Network, which recently won the Golden Globe award for the Best Motion Picture (Drama), tells the story of the founding […]

Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think

posted by Mark D. Roberts

You hear a lot these days about science and religion. Most anti-religious folk claim that science undermines or even contradicts religious faith. As evidence for this claim (which, by the way, is not scientific, but philosophical), they point to the […]

Leadership and Corporate Culture

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’ve been thinking recently about corporate culture. If you’re not familiar with this phrase, let me explain that corporate culture has to do with the basic identity and personality of an organization (business, church, family, school, etc.). Corporate culture, or […]

The High Calling: Emulsification, the Minister’s Morgue, and Wearing the Skin of Jesus

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today I want to highlight three articles on The High Calling website. This website, to which I am connected through my work at Laity Lodge, offers a fascinating collection of diverse columns, all of which reflect the themes of work, […]

Movie Recommendations: The Social Network and The King’s Speech

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I saw two fine movies this weekend, The Social Network and The King’s Speech. These films have much in common: wonderfully written, directed, and filmed; outstanding acting performances; not much action, but plenty of gripping relational tension. Both movies are […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Open the Doors!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Open the Doors! Psalm 24:1-10 Open up, ancient gates!      Open up, ancient doors,      and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory?      The LORD of Heaven’s Armies–      he is the King of […]

Amazon Cann’t Spell or Use Decent English,

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I just got an email from the Customer Service Department of Amazon.com. It seems they’re concerned about account and need my financial information. I’m a big fan of Amazon and buy lots of books from them, but I must say […]

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms: Thoughts About Shared Songwriting

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Two days ago, I posted the story of the history of the hymn that forms the musical basis of the soundtrack for the recent film version of True Grit. In short, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” was co-written in the […]

Thinking of Haiti

posted by Mark D. Roberts

As we recall the earthquake that devastated Haiti one year ago, let me point you to two wonderful pieces at Patheos. Kent Annan, who have lived in Haiti and continues to serve, there, has written a profound, heartfelt “Prayer for […]

The Music of True Grit: “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”

posted by Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s post, I gave the back ground to the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” which permeates the soundtrack of the Coen Brothers’ film, True Grit. It is not actually sung until the end of the movie, when a […]

The Music of True Grit: Some Fascinating History

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I recently saw the new version of True Grit. Once again, the Coen brothers have written and directed an engaging, thought-provoking, and cinematically stunning movie. But, for me, one of the most striking parts of True Grit was not its […]

Experience Laity Lodge! You’ll Be Glad You Did

posted by Mark D. Roberts

As most of my readers know, blogging is not my day job. My official title at work is “Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence for Laity Lodge.” I have served in this role for the last three and a quarter years, after […]

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling: An Expansive Vision for Family Worship

posted by Mark D. Roberts

An Expansive Vision for Family Worship Psalm 22:1-31 The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him.      All the families of the nations will bow down before him. Psalm 22:27 Many years ago while on a sabbatical […]

When Should a Preacher Mention “The Rabbit of Caerbannog”?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

My latest article at the Patheos Preachers Portal focuses on “Exegeting Your Congregation.” I was motivated to write this article by a Christmas Eve sermon that included a reference to “The Rabbit of Caerbannog.” You get extra credit if you […]

In the News . . .

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Three recent articles in the news caught my eye. New Edition Cleans Up Huckleberry Finn A new edition of Mark Twain’s classic novel, Huckleberry Finn, is being published. This version cleans up the text, replacing the N-word (used 219 times) […]

Epiphany: What is It? How Can We Celebrate It?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today is Epiphany, the day after the twelve-day celebration of Christmas (or in some liturgical calendars, the twelfth day of the Christmas season). The English word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word epiphaneia, which means “appearing” or “revealing.” Epiphany focuses […]

Fish Like Christmas Trees! Really!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Check out this fascinating little article in the New York Times. Who’d a thunk it?

Christmas According to Dickens: What Transformed Ebenezer Scrooge? What Transforms Us? (Part 2)

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Yesterday, I began to gather together the strands of this series and weave some conclusions about what transforms us. I suggested that: • Transformation begins when something interrupts our ordinary experience.• Transformation comes through pain.• Transformation comes through children. Today […]

The Predominance of the Visual on the Internet

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Today’s New York Times features an article entitled: “Graphics Ability Is the New Goal for Chip Makers.”  Consumers, it appears, are less interested in light, svelte laptops and more interested in graphics power. One striking excerpt: By some forecasts, video […]

Christmas According to Dickens: What Transformed Ebenezer Scrooge? What Transforms Us?

posted by Mark D. Roberts

I’m finally ready to answer the question that has guided most of this series on A Christmas Carol: Why did Ebenezer Scrooge change? Today I want to sum up what we’ve discovered and make some connections to our own experience. […]

Want to Live a Long, Healthy Life? “This Year, Change Your Mind”

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Oliver Sacks, a physician and bestselling author, has written an intriguing piece in the New York Times. “This Year, Change Your Mind” suggests ways we can keep our minds healthy and alive, even as we age. Here are some excerpts: […]

Christmas According to Dickens: Evidence of Scrooge’s Transformed Life: Stave V

posted by Mark D. Roberts

When we left Ebenezer Scrooge in my last post of this series, he had come to the end of the visits by the Spirits of Christmas past, present, and future. In response to these visits, he promised to be a […]

Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Renew My Life!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Renew My Life! Psalm 119:33-40 I long to obey your commandments!      Renew my life with your goodness. Psalm 119:40 Today is the first Sunday of the new year. Thus, before we return to our normal walk through the Psalms […]

Jesus Appears at the Rose Parade!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

This morning my family and I made our annual trek to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. We don’t actually watch the parade, however. Rather, we come early in the morning and view the floats close up. Then we watch […]

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More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Mark D. Roberts. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration ...

posted 2:09:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? Conclusions
In this series on the death of Jesus, I have presented four different perspectives on why Jesus had to die: Roman, Jewish, Jesus’, and Early Christian. I believe that each of these points of view has merit, and that we cannot fully understand ...

posted 2:47:39am Apr. 11, 2011 | read full post »

Sunday Inspiration from the High Calling
Can We Find God in the City? Psalm 48:1-14 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that ...

posted 2:05:51am Apr. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 3
An Act and Symbol of Love Perhaps one of the most startling of the early Christian interpretations of the cross was that it was all about love. It’s easy in our day, when crosses are religious symbols, attractive ornaments, and trendy ...

posted 2:41:47am Apr. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? The Perspective of the First Christians, Part 2
The Means of Reconciliation In my last post, I examined one of the very earliest Christian statements of the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to the tradition encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus died “for our sins in accordance with ...

posted 2:30:03am Apr. 07, 2011 | read full post »

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