FBI negotiator Chris Voss has written an interesting book, Never Split The Difference in which he describes negotiations with bank robbers, gangs, and international terrorists. He identified a pattern with one group of kidnappers who generally kidnapped people at the beginning of the week and released them towards the end of the week. The FBI concluded these kidnappers wanted the ransom money to party at the weekends. Kidnapping was a weekday job for them. When a kidnapping happens law enforcement agencies like the FBI want “proof of life” before paying a ransom. Typically, they would ask questions only the person would know the answer to, like what was the name of their first dog? But the best proof of life was to have the kidnapper put the hostage on the phone so their voice could be heard and recognised.
How can we become a true disciple of Jesus Christ? Since Jesus often used the word disciple in his ministry, if we are to be true Christians, we need to take time to understand the real meaning of disciple when he uses this word, and to learn from him.
How do you find hope, when everything seems hopeless? Do you tend to become downcast, depressed, and feeling like darkness has descended on you? Do you bottle it inside while trying to appear unmoved? Do you just look on the sunny side and pretend nothing is wrong?
"How do faithless people like me make sense of this past year of COVID?" This was the headline of a Guardian article by John Harris who wrote: For many of us, life without God has turned out to be life without fellowship and shared meaning. The article gave an insight into how one atheist wrestled with questions of randomness and meaning when faced by a life-threatening disease like COVID-19. He wondered how religious people approach such an issue.