Corona and our two greatest concerns

Out two greatest concerns during Covid-19 can become our two greatest teachers. Well, what can these two concerns teach us? What are your greatest concerns? what are you learning during this time?

Leave a comment and I will reply soon

 

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Corona and 3 tips that can make a difference “today”

We are leaving in the midst of a pandemic. Fear is a natural response. Some people panic and are desperate. Will we survive this pandemic?

In this vlog, I focus on three simple things we can do today. To face a big problem sometimes we have to take small steps. We should not let fear control our lives. That’s my point.

 

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COVID-19 Hope makes a difference

Almost everyone is concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak.

Many people responsibly take preventive measures. Others are in the middle of a crisis and find it difficult to deal with it. Most people are deeply concerned about their loved ones.

Some universities in The Netherlands have decided to not have on-campus education.

In this short blog (see here), Marilyn Adamson reflects on the reality of God and how this can make a difference in our lives. In the middle of our anxieties, there is hope!

How do you deal with anxiety? Leave a comment and I will be happy to reply within a week.

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Passionweek Leiden 2020

Make Room

Students in Leiden organized a “passionweek” (PW) in February 2020. I gave three of the lunch talks and Mark Pickett gave one lunch talk and the evening talks during this PW. Attendance during these meetings went from about 60 to more than 150 students for each meeting.

We had many good conversations after the talks and some students expressed their desire to meet again and talk further.

See in the flyer below the topics of the talks. If you want to know more about the talks and/or have a question then leave a comment and I will try to reply within a week.

Do you also want to organize a passionweek in your city? Then contact me or leave a comment. For more information about the PWs have a look here.

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Christmas season – God is not distant – a conversation with a university student

Making room to think about Christmas

It is an opportunity to make some room during this Christmas season and reflect about the meaning of Christmas. What is Christmas all about? What are you thoughts on the meaning of Christmas? What follows is a conversation I had with a student a few weeks ago.

What do you think about God and the meaning of life?

Meaning in life for that student is to improve other people’s lives, help them become better. He values honesty, being happy in life, and equality. About life after death, he thought life just ends the moment someone dies. The body is a vessel of the brain. About God, he thought that there are many different interpretations and misinterpretations. Therefore he is at the moment more of an agnostic.

Who was Jesus?

An amusing moment came when I asked him what he thinks about Jesus. How can we know what is true after 2000 years, he said. But Jesus came across to him as hot-headed, getting easily angry for small things, like talking to a fig tree and then cursing it. I laughed and agreed that this is an interesting moment in Jesus’ life. I think he was surprised that I responded in a relaxed way.

He also said that people say that Jesus was the Son of God. But this is more what people said about him and not how Jesus identified himself. It just became a good story. We shortly talked about how much and on what basis we can trust history since he loved reading it. He mentioned that historiography- the study of the writing of history and of historical texts- helps uncover historical truths. I agreed and noted that we can do the same with the Bible as a document and find out how reliable it is.

What do you think Jesus was trying to do?

He had a good insight into the question “what do you think Jesus was trying to do?” He said, “people were focused too much on rules. Jesus helped them understand the spirit behind these rules.” I told him that some of his thoughts show that he has more knowledge about the Bible than many students I talk to. I became curious about his background. He said that his father is a full-time Christian minister, someone that teaches the Bible weekly in a church.

The last question in the questionnaire was this, “if it were possible, would you want to know God in a personal way? Why?” He said, “I think God’s attention will go more to other people, maybe other people need him more than me.” I asked him to explain more about this. What he said shows his understanding of who God is and how God relates to human beings. He said clear and short, “I don’t think I am worthy enough or miserable enough to have God’s attention.”

God is love!

God is love! Anyone who struggles with this phrase may have a picture of God in his mind as distant, cold, and impersonal. Not the God Jesus came to reveal. Luke reminds us what Jesus said about God, that God is loving and reaching out to lost people. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

During this Christmas season make some room in your life to think about God. Christmas means that God became a man in the person of Jesus. Jesus came to reveal the love of God. Here you can read more about the God Jesus came to present. Leave your thoughts, I will try to reply within a week.

 

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