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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute I daresay that whatever else the Covid-19 pandemic is, it is good for our prayer lives. I’m guessing there are some people out there who haven’t bothered to utter a prayer in decades who are now on their knees almost sweating blood. No doubt the rest of us are praying pretty earnestly too. It reminds me of the time my youngest son lost his pet frog to a case of too much loving attention. We asked him if he wanted a little graveside prayer service and we were pleased when he showed his eagerness. We dug a little hole in the yard, put the frog’...

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Hang 10: Crisis Leadership for Christians is the title of a 10-minute webcast that begins this coming Monday, April 6. “We’ll keep it fast and focused,” promises Dr. Owen Phelps, director of the Yeshua Institute and host of the webcast. It will air daily, Monday through Friday, at 1 p.m. CDT (2 p.m. EDT, noon MDT and 11 a.m. PDT). Link coming Friday A link to register for the webcast will be published in a special issue of The Catholic Leader and on social media this Friday, April 3. “We hope you watch for it and share it as widely as possible,” Phelps said. “Remember, ...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute Looks like I have given up bars and restaurants for Lent. Hmm. Pretty radical, huh? I think so. I have never tried this before. At the moment I am giving myself a big gold star for this bold -- some would say audacious -- expression of personal piety. It's a huge sacrifice, especially coming on the heels of the NCAA journey's cancellation, which has served as a Lenten retreat for me for many years. (When I got up Monday morning, just out of habit I went looking for a bracket to fill out.) Fortunately, as an Illinois resident, I am getting quite a bi...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute Our nominee for Leader of the Year – maybe Leader of the Decade – is Anthony Fauci, M.D. He is Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). a post he has held since 1984. Widely considered "the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases," he is also a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force -- where despite his diminutive stature he has been speaking truth to power quite publicly since being appointed to that post in January. You almost certain...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute There are two exceptionally high stakes sectors in life: aviation and medical care. When people mess up in these sectors, other people often die. That’s why it’s good to learn as much from them whenever we can. Here’s one opportunity. Some years ago a study was conducted to determine the reasons for unexpected deaths in the operating rooms of some of America’s most prestigious hospitals on the Eastern Seaboard. Among the study’s findings were two stark realities: In a third of the cases, a member of the surgical team saw a c...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute Maybe you recently hired a new person to fill either a new slot or an old one. But now that they’re on the job they don’t seem to be performing up to the expectations you set for them when you decided they were right for the job. What’s wrong? Maybe you just got it wrong – thought you saw something when it really wasn’t there. That’s possible. But more likely the Best Christian Workplaces Institute provides a better explanation – and a way to get much better performance going forward. In a story called “7 Reas...

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There’s no better time than Lent to begin taking better care of our common home – the Earth. Certainly there’s no more basic pro-life initiative than doing all that we can to make sure the planet is capable of sustaining human life. Or as Pope Francis puts it in his encyclical Laudato Si’, it’s all about care of our common home. While many continue to be skeptics regarding climate change and the notion that the planet’s ability to sustain life is under serious threat, Pope Francis makes it clear that he takes the position supported by the overwhelming majority of scientists &nda...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute Over the many seasons of my life I have entertained a wide range of attitudes regarding Lent. I can recall my earliest elementary school years when it was an incredible opportunity to draw praise from parents and teachers alike. Those were the days in which we were called just to give up something. That wasn’t fun all by itself. But I soon learned that bigger the apparent sacrifice I chose, the more my praises would be sung by parents and teachers alike. Ah hah! As a competitive example of the male gender, a big Lenten sacrifice inevitably provided me ...

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Your Lenten invitation

Posted on February 18, 2020 in: Articles

If you go to church on Ash Wednesday – next Wednesday, Feb. 26 – as so many people do, you will hear an invitation to fully participate in Lent. It’s the opening verses of the first reading, taken from the book of Joel. Scholars tell us it was most likely composed in 450-400 BC, meaning it has been waiting for you to respond for a long, long time. Here is what you will hear. Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute It started out as an idea last year for how my wife, Jane, and I might do something together during Lent that would help us get to know the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles better – and also to better develop the heart and mind of Jesus, which is the real purpose of Lent. Then, the more I thought about it, the more I came to think that we ought to share our idea with our readers. We did and some liked it. So we’ve updated it to match this year’s Lenten dates. Maybe it’s something you want to do with your spouse or a friend or even a small gro...

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