Facets of Faith: What about hell?

What do you think of hell? Is it a real place — perhaps a fiery pit or lake? Are there levels of hell? Is it eternal separation from God? Is purgatory real? Can one work his or her way from hell to heaven? All of these views can be found … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Jesus’ tomb sacred site

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Inside the Holy Sepulchre in the walled city of Jerusalem.

Editor’s note: In May, Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, met in Jerusalem with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “first among equals” among the various patriarchs of 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians. Advocate photographer Bill Feig was there. This is the first in an occasional series of photos from Feig’s journey. … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Plug in to summer meetings

Church camp is a special memory for many. As adults, denominational or group meetings can be a way to participate in a similar event. These meetings can be regional, state, national or even international. Activities can include prayer times; social meetings divided by geography, age groups or special interests; activities for children; ministry opportunities; … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith for May 24, 2014

Today is Aldersgate Day in the Methodist Church. Its beginnings came 275 years ago in 1738 when John Wesley had what he called his “conversion,” an event that would ultimately lead him to start the Methodist church. While Wesley was a Christian, he reached a low point in … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith for April 26, 2014

As the world looks toward the canonization of former Popes John Paul II and John XXIII, some may wondered what it takes to be named a saint. Some even trip over the definition of saint. The first definition most reference works give for saint is “a holy person.” … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Snow finds place in Scripture

While in the middle of the Deep Freeze 2014, my husband was reading his nightly Psalms passage when he started laughing. Reading from the English Standard Version, one of his Psalms for the night was Psalm 147. Verses 16-18 say: “He gives snow like wool; he scatters … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: World Religion Day

Sunday is the 63rd World Religion Day. People in Baton Rouge can mark the day in several ways. The Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge has listed several activities under the header January Thaw: Melting Away Interfaith Misunderstanding and Cultivating Peace. First is the Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival, which … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Christmas Quiz

Christmas is named for Jesus, considered to be the Christ (or Messiah or Annointed) of Christianity. It is the remembrance of Jesus’ birth. If you want to refresh your memory about the story before or after taking the quiz, consider reading the Bible passages in this order to put the parts roughly in … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Veggie Tales and Empowered

'Soul Cry' is the CD by the Baton Rouge band Empowered.

When pulling out the classic Christmas programs, consider adding VeggieTales “Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas.” The Christmas show is part of VeggieTales 20th anniversary. While the plot summary sounds similar to “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the story has enough of a fresh take to not duplicate the older show. … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Faith-based tech

Screengrab of the homepage for biblestudytools.com

At the end of October, I told of a survey that showed how entrenched technology is with young adults and their religious lives. I asked readers to contribute their favorite technology for religious purposes. And my first response came from a young adult. … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Young adults practice faith online

Advocate photo illustration-- In the past, a black leather Bible was a prized possesion. For young adults today though, inexpensive Bible apps on their smartphones overshadow the printed book for their Scripture reading.

Do young adults today practice faith and religion differently than previous generations at the same age? Research from the Barna Group says, “Yes.” A recent report by the Barna Group looked at “Millennials,” people age 18 to 29, a generation that grew up with easily accessible digital technology. … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Prayer beads

Advocate Staff Photo by Mark Saltz  Feb. 16, 2010 Trax #00020552a Confession  Barbara Williams demonstrates the Rosary as she waits her turn for confeesion  at Our Lady of Mercy as the Diocese of Baton Rouge is launching an intiative this Lenton season to encourage Catholics to come to confession -- especially those who have not participated in the sacrament in a while.

At noon Saturday, Catholics gathered at thousands of rallies across the region and nation to pray the Rosary, part of the 2013 Public Square Rosary Crusade. America Needs Fatima (americaneedsfatima.org/) promotes this annual event to ask God to solve problems we haven’t solved as humans. The most identifiable part … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Special days mark end of Ramadan

AP file photo -- A Syrian vendor displays Damascene sweets in downtown Damascus in 2006. Sweets are a traditional staple during Eid al-Fitr.

The fast involves avoiding food during daylight. The opening days of the fast are often marked with community or family meals at sundown. However, two more special days are observed in Ramadan. Laylat al-Qadr Laylat al-Qadr, or the Night of Power or Decree, celebrates the Prophet Muhammad receiving the Quran through the angel Gabriel. Muhammad never … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Pepper sauce sales support Hope project

Advocate staff photo by LEILA PITCHFORD-ENGLISH -- At the annual state meeting on May 17, 2013, Kyle Kelley, associate coordinator of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship- La., promotes a hot sauce that helps fight poverty in northeast La., one of the poorest regions in the country. The national CBF organization has programs in the 10 poorest counties in the United States.

In 2001, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship began the Together for Hope project to help people in 20 of the nation’s poorest counties. The group’s website said, “The ministry is about establishing long-term relationships, listening, learning and walking alongside local leaders. The hope is that communities will be transformed as will the churches … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Readers say give to God first

In the April 13 Facets of Faith, I presented two views of how Christians in financial trouble should handle paying their tithes. One expert said to get out of debt first so that you can be more generous later. The other said that the tithe should always come first. I asked what our readers thought. … Continue reading →

‘The Bible’ heads to History Channel

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have created a television miniseries and realted books about the Bible. This is novel based on the series.

The History Channel will debut on Sunday a 10-hour, five-part miniseries called “The Bible.” The show starts at 7 p.m. and will run on Sundays for five weeks, ending on Easter. Each episode will have two or three stories from Scripture. Created and produced by husband and wife Mark Burnett … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Technology offers help for marking holy season

While Lent, which started Wednesday, is a very old religious practice, people are finding ways to use new technology to help in its observance. A site created by a group of friends from southeast Louisiana, http://www.whattogiveup.com, presents some traditional ways that people mark the season, such as giving up alcohol, television or something … Continue reading →

Facets of Faith for Feb. 2, 2013

As people in south Louisiana celebrate the Mardi Gras season, some in Japan will be marking an old festival in Shinto and Buddhist shrines on Friday. Hari-kuyo is a time for kimono-makers to lay to rest their year’s worth of old, broken and worn-out needles and pins. Hari is needle, and kuyou … Continue reading →