The Common Good

intimacy

'Salaam, Love' Counters Stereotypes of Muslim Men

Oppressive. Boorish. Misogynist: Those are the popular images of Muslim men and how they treat women.

But there’s more to it than that, thought Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, the editors of Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women.

Many Muslims welcomed the two women’s 2012 collection of 25 stories as an overdue conversation starter. Soon they got flooded with requests for a male version.

They initially dismissed the idea, assuming men wouldn’t want to write so openly about such intimate matters. But as the queries kept coming, the two editors decided a Muslim male version wasn’t that far-fetched, and given the stereotypes of Muslim men, much needed.

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Sex God: Jesus, Intimacy and Exploitation

Ed Young and his wife, Lisa, have penned a new book called “Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse,” which is a sort of how-to guide for couples to rekindle intimacy in their marriage while remaining within the boundaries of biblical virtues, as interpreted by the authors.

First off, I’m glad evangelicals are joining the sexuality discussion. Having helped create a series of books whose first title was focused on faith and sex/sexuality, I believe it’s of great importance that faith leaders speak in open, healthy ways about sexuality, sexual expression, attraction, and so on.

One of the most hyped points made in the book is that it encourages married couples to engage in their own “Sexperiment,” where they commit to having sex each day for a week. The theory is that this will renew physical and emotional intimacy, and also help reduce the urge for things like pornography.

Hey, sex for Jesus sounds like a no-brainer to me. Sign me up!

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Awakening Creativity in Prayer

Each moment is pregnant with new possibilities waiting to be born, alive with new beginnings, God's secrets not yet heard, God's dreams not yet fulfilled. These were the thoughts that lodged in my mind as I meditated on Isaiah 48:6-8 this morning. So many good Christian people I talk to are afraid that their prayer life will become stale, their spiritual disciplines empty rituals. Some make this an excuse for their lack of discipline in prayer. And prayer does become stale and meaningless if we don't know how to stir our imaginations and awaken our creativity to new thoughts, new patterns and new possibilities for prayer.

Tools for prayer are creative opportunities not formulae for success

One of my greatest fears as I continue to share these tools for prayers is that some of my readers will see them as another formula that will make them more successful and more prayerful. Of course that is possible, but what I hope is that we will all see these as tools as ways to stir our imaginations and open our minds to new ways to express the prayers God has placed in our hearts, stimuli that awaken our creativity to the brand new possibilities of ways that God can speak to us, in us, and through us.

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What Are Your 'Life Giving' Questions?

I love what I do, but it's amazing how even that which you do and that which you feel "called" to do can grow in an unhealthy way to become idolatrous or simply draining.
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Big, Fat Kisses

My first date was a big fat sloppy hour and a half of kissing (sorry Mom and Dad) supported by the screenplay of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
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Is Women's Leadership in the Church a Primary Issue?

If you are concerned about the question of gender and Christian faith you have probably heard someone say, "Yes, the woman's question is important, but it is not a 'primary issue.'" What is at the
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The Murphy Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse: Why We All Need Accountability

The day the Murphy Report on clergy sexual abuse of children in Dublin, Ireland was recently released found me
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Priest Scandal Re-opens Celibacy Debate

Scandal has again surfaced in the American Catholic Church, but, gratefully, this time it is not over child abuse or mismanagement of funds.
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Audio: The Beloved Community, the Kingdom of God, and Candy Bar Christianity

In this sermon, Pastor Efrem discusses the focus in April on Martin Luther King's death and the Easter Season, and proclaims that there is no separation between proclaiming the gospel and advancing
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What Makes Liberals and Conservatives Angry? Abortion Reduction

When both the Left and Right begin sharpening their knives, it means you are on to something.
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