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An annual tradition of this column calls attention to the kind of religious inspiration that religion didn’t necessarily request. Suspecting that the cause of these decisions were due to indigestion rather than inspiration, I’ve named them the Bad Burrito Awards.

Michael K OlmstedJerusalem was facing ruin, God's Temple was about to be destroyed, the land could hardly be described as “promised,” and the majority of the Jews were facing exile in a foreign county ruled by a pagan dictator. There comes a time when you have nothing but faith in God, and you pray.

Michael K OlmstedI delight in the Christmas season, the music, decorations, parties and special church services. But my greatest joy comes from the incomparable event of our Savior's birth.

One aspect of simplifying the holidays is making it through without wrecking your budget or going into debt when the bills start arriving in the mail. But, what about after Christmas?

Michael K OlmstedLife is a journey of choices. You cannot control what life places before you every day, but you can decide if you will trust God, live morally and make a difference for others. The book called “Ruth” is a story of human choices and God's grace.

CHICAGO (RNS) — At his appearance in late October at the American Writers Museum in Chicago, best-selling author, newspaper columnist and social media maven  John Scalzi tossed a 10-sided die to determine what he would speak about that evening. Sometimes it's explaining the meaning of life. Sometimes it's how he wrote his latest science-fiction novel, “The Consuming Fire,” in two weeks.

webRNS God Friend1 110918(RNS) — When the creators of CBS’s new, surprise hit TV show “God Friended Me” set out to create a series with religious ideas at its center, they wanted to bring something innovative to the genre: Doubt.

webRNS TerKeurst Book1 110819(RNS) — From the outside, it seemed like Lysa TerKeurst had it all, founding a successful Christian nonprofit, a popular speaker and author.

Then, about two years ago, everything fell apart. TerKeurst announced her husband was having an affair. Months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Michael K OlmstedToday's passage is a beautiful story about the impossible becoming possible, nothing like the powerful image of Moses before God on Mt. Sinai, but stunning as God works through seemingly impossible barriers to bring Boaz, a wealthy man of faith, together with a foreign woman who has no reasonable hope for a good life. And yet, if faith in God cannot push barriers aside, transform a life and reveal the true meaning of love, what hope is left for any of us?

webRNS GOD TV2(RNS) — Even in our present “golden age” of television, with the number of scripted programs on network, cable and streaming channels expected to top 500 this year, shows that feature religion or faith are scarce.

Rarer still are spiritually themed series that successfully find an audience, if not critical acclaim, amid the thrum of hundreds of other viewing options.