Monday, July 31, 2006
giving to the poor
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." [ Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian archbishop] Except now it can read, "When I give food to the poor, they call me a criminal..." HONESTLY!!!! This is DISGUSTING!!
Las Vegas has outlawed the feeding of the hungry. more
What is the Christian's role in the world?
America wasn't founded as a theocracy. America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric. That's why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state. I am sorry to tell you that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ.
Rev. Paul Eddy, professor at Bethel:
Greg is an anomaly in the megachurch world. He didn't give a whit about church leadership, never read a book about church growth. His biggest fear is that people will think that all church is is a weekend carnival, with people liking the worship, the music, his speaking, and that's it.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
When Pastor Charlie gets back from vacation, go up to him. Ask him, "What can I do for our church - for our young people - for our seniors - for our community?" I promise you Pastor Charlie will have plenty of ideas. Let's be open to the challenge of vision.
The wonderful and encouraging part of our Scripture today is that even when we doubt our faith - and all of us do at one time or another - even when we begin to sink, as Peter did - Jesus will be there for us also. He will hold out his hand and reassure us also with his words: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
Saturday, July 29, 2006
ancient book of Psalms
The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries.
“There’s two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out,” Wallace said. “First of all, it’s unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing.”
The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations’ attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.
For an orthodox Jew's take on this, click here & read the first July 27 post.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Yet time continues to move slowly when we wait in the doctor's office. Even more slowly when we wait for God's response to our prayers.
"Can't God see how I'm suffering? Why is he taking so long?" we ask.
But let us heed the advice of the Psalmist:
Be still before the Lord and wait in patience.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I wonder if the Psalmist had us in mind when he said that "rebels must dwell in a parched land."
But our yard is quite green since I'm watering not only the shrub roses & seedlings, but the older trees as well.
If we are God's people, we do not have to worry. In the same psalm we are told: "When you went forth, O God, at the head of your people, . . . You poured down, O God, a generous rain."
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
visit the sick
Visitation (and care for others) is an important command from Jesus. When we visit those in need, we are indeed visiting Jesus.
Jesus said: Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. . . . Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
Matthew 25: 34-36, 40
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind.
1 Samuel 2:31
Monday, July 24, 2006
Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Quote of note at today's service by Pastor Larry Johnson at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church:
While pastors are often referred to as shepherds, we are just understudies.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Orthodox Jewish blog
Open your doors, O Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars!
Last week I upgraded my cell phone to a 700p Treo which has a better than average cell phone camera. Of course I had to verify that claim. The picture on the left is one of my first with this phone; so far, I'm pleased with it. Now, if I can just figure out how to post the videos it takes ...
While mowing the lawn this afternoon, I continued to reflect upon my study of Respecting the Enemy (see yesterday's post). Too often I dwell upon the wrongs and hurts that have been imposed on me. The following helps:
The comic strip character Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." We must be aware of that enemy who lies within each of us. And we can begin by paying attention to our inner dialogues. Set in motion by the words or actions of others, such dialogues cause us to endlessly rehash old offenses, real or imagined. Such thoughts take hold of us, possess us, and make us our own worst enemies. Becoming aware of our inner dialogues -- and then changing them -- helps us step off this path to self-destruction.
Friday, July 21, 2006
respecting the enemy
First of all, who is my enemy? I am not at all sure that I can call anyone my enemy. I grieve for all the cruelty in inhumanity of which the human heart, including my own, is capable. To "respect the enemy" I need to control my feelings, my thoughts, and especially my tongue, so as to always respect the dignity and rights of others. I need to respect and appreciate those who are different from me as a brother or sister in God, and to realize that we're all God's sons and daughters.
Monday, July 17, 2006
from God comes my help.
God alone is my rock, my stronghold,
my fortress; I stand firm.
Psalm 62:1 (Grail)
Sunday, July 16, 2006
dark thoughts & rocks
Friday, July 14, 2006
battle of the ads
A sampling of the ads by proponents of the legislation:
Would Jesus discriminate?
Jesus taught us to love everyone, even our enemies and those who are different from us, not destroy and mistreat them.
Response by the opposition:
God Discriminated at Sodom
Not only did Jesus discriminate; he is going to discriminate again.
Who are the Christians?
life at the margins
Yet recently the Lord led me to an amazing passage, the encounter between Jesus and Nathaniel in John 1. Nathaniel has decided Jesus is a non-entity. Jesus comes from Nazareth, after all.
Nathaniel's skepticism comes from being in power, being at the center. Those at the center decide that anyone not with us is—not against us—[but] just irrelevant. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" It doesn't warrant our time. But the Messiah is from Nazareth.
Rt. Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye
think about it ...
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Left Behind won't leave us alone
Skipping Towards Armageddon: The Politics and Propaganda of the Left Behind Novels and the LaHaye Empire by Michael Standaert presents a much more ominous picture. Publisher's Weekly comments:
Standaert has done his homework... his book is an important look at the premillennialist movement, illuminating the potential for such a group to evolve into the kind of violent religious factions that the U.S. and others are struggling to stamp out across the globe.
The lure of theocracy
Hearing firsthand about Islamic culture increased my understanding, but it also made me nervous about my own society. The very things we resist in Islam, some Christians find tempting. We, too, seek political power and a legal code that reflects revealed morality. We, too, share a concern about raising our children in a climate of moral decadence. We, too, tend to see others (including Muslims) as a stereotyped community, rather than as individuals. Will we turn toward our own version of the harsh fundamentalism sweeping Islam today?
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
What about the aliens?
Rev. Tom Ehrich
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Left Behind should be left behind
Friday, July 07, 2006
"Go and learn what this mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I cried to you, God, for help.
From your temple you heard my voice;
my cry came to your ears.
Psalm 18:6 (Grail)
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
how to pray
Between you and your Father this was quite sufficient. This is how you made your request of him in the garden of Gethsemane. You showed him what you wished for and what you feared, but left it all in his hands. But you know us, my Lord, and you know that we have not given ourselves up to the will of your Father as completely as you did. For us, it is best to pray for specific things, so that as each of them comes to mind we can pause to consider whether it is something good that we are asking for; so that if it is not, we should refrain from asking for it. Otherwise (being what we are, free will and all) we will not accept what God chooses to give us even if it is far better than what we asked for, simply because it is not exactly what we asked for. We are the sort of people who cannot feel rich unless we feel the weight of the actual coins in our hand.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
4th of July parade, St. Anthony Park, St. Paul, MN
Monday, July 03, 2006
Are you discouraged by your sins?
As we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God's commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love. Never swerving from his instructions, then, but faithfully observing his teaching in the monastery until death, we shall through patience share in the sufferings of Christ that we may deserve also to share in his kingdom.