Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
It's these snarky and condescending rejections, not of faith itself but of those who profess it, that reflect a total unwillingness to learn something new about human nature, the world around us and even of science itself. While the neoatheists pay only cursory attention to dismantling arguments for God, they spend most of their time painting his followers as uncultured rubes. The fact that religion has inexplicably persisted, even despite Copernicus, Darwin and the Enlightenment, doesn't seem to have much sociological meaning for them
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Last year, it thundered and rained during the 1800 and 2000 contemporary Christmas Eve eve services, and then we got 10 inches or so of snow on Christmas Eve.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Look, you’re young and we want to support you, but you need to be reasonable. People are busy — we have full lives. We don’t have time to be saints. We need you to do your job — lead worship, visit church members, teach confirmation, pray for us, and try to grow the church. We just don’t need you making things harder than they ought to be.
Here's the other part of this dialog that got me, that broke my heart a little.
This kick you’re on to push; to make us feel bad about not doing enough?I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad. I’m just trying to offer people something better. I want to help people grow in their faith.Well, that’s fine, but a lot of people are perfectly happy where they are.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
This here is a blog. It's where I say shit that's on my mind, or link to videos of people popping zits, or tell jokes/stories, or whatever. Blogs have been around longer than the term "Social Media" which is very en vogue right now. I have to say tho, that for me blogging is all about the social, and very little about the media. Media in this case meaning using the technology to reach an audience for a professional reason like marketing or customer support.
I mean I KNOW some of you all do this shit for a living, but it started fro me as a way to keep in touch with people. I am not very good at writing letters/e-mails on impulse, or making calls just to catch up. [Important to say here that The Observer started the first blog became The Observer became sick of hollering at the radio in the car.] And you can see for yourself the long periods where I haven't done jack or shit on here. But STILL I maintain the blog is about me, it's a social exercise and more than a tad narcissistic. [The Observer is not as transparent at all times as this writer as The Observer is conscious of the fact that the internet is so very open, so sometimes the Observer is opaque about some things. Which can make The Observer a little crazy sometimes.]
If you tune in here, are my Facebook friend, or follow me on Twitter [it must be noted that The Observer does not Tweet at this point] you would be forgiven for thinking that I blow these social outfits off. The truth is that sometimes I just get chatty, but most of the time I just watch whats goin on with everybody else. I don't like being the center of attention, it makes me jittery. I love when people reach out to talk to me or to do something in the non-virtual world. When somebody says "let's get together" I am always excited, right up till it's about to happen. Then I start getting bummed out about being fat, or broke, or a gimp. I come up with a million reasons I'll have a bad time and try to talk myself out of it. When I go tho, I almost always enjoy myself.
Talking to people, online or in person, doesn't just forge connections and relationships it positively affects my self image. I am still uncomfortable when I am the center of attention (for example a rambling blog, or telling a story to a table of people). I tend to struggle to sound brighter/funnier than I am because I like the positive reinforcement. At the same time I am aware of that struggle and how I might come off as a blabbermouth or just really weird.
I just wanted all of you all to know that I appreciate the connections I have made with you, I just don't always express it. If I don't say anything to you in a while, rest assured it's NOT because I want to ignore anybody. I just suck at this social stuff sometimes. And as for the media, well I hate to be marketed at (tho I cut my SocMed practicing friends some slack).
OK kids, that's it I'm out!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Here are the lyrics to the second:
I want to surrender for good
I know that I need You and I don't
want to keep living life alone
So take this heart and make it new
Make it true make it like You
Take my hands I lift them high
Theyr'e Yours not mine to do
Do what You will
Do what You will
Do what You will
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
I feel like a blind man in Your sight
I know that I'm wicked in Your eyes
So wash me and make me shine like Your
Son, I want to tell everyone that Your the only one
so take my heart and make it new
I'm ready now, I'm ready now
I'm ready now, do what You will
I'm ready now
I'm ready now
I'm ready now
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Knew I wasn't who I wanted to be
I was living like the way that I wanted
But my eyes reminded me I'm not free
Believe that I saw, everything that I know
Says I gotta go, tired of going solo
But I'm never gonna go there again
This is what it is
This is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn't want to fall, but I don't have to crawl
I met the one with two scarred hands
Givin' him the best of, everything that's left of
The life inside this man
I've been Born Again
I see you're walking like you're living in fear
Having trouble even looking at me
Wishing that they give you more than words
Sick of people telling how it should be (how it should be)
What's your download, where'd you get your info
Saw that I'm show, now you're in the in-load
I'm gonna tell you what I believe, OH
We are the ones, he called by name
Never gonna look back
Let go, let go the guilt the shame
I said I'm never gonna look back
This is who I am
I am Born Again
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thus the most liberal of churches appear able to maintain the best of relations with secular culture, but no longer have anything distinctive to say to it! Righteousness has been reduced to equality, agape has paled to fraternity, sin has been replaced with maladjustment, and salvation has become mere civility.The failure of liberalism, then is not one of intent--Schleirmacher sincerely wished his friends to embrace Christianity--but one of strategy: by attempting to translated the gospel into terms understandable to the modern mind, the liberal wing of the church lost the farm. My fear is that the conservative wing of the church, for all its emphasis on missions, evangelism, and church growth, is simply reproducing an already deeply flawed strategy. (p. 52)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
Monday, August 23, 2010
It’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care
If I break
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just ok
Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life
I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions
Not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love
Make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
THE ART OF HOLINESS
Instead of hardcore doctrine in legalese, holiness seems to me more like art
TRYING HARD TO BE HOLY. I grew up with lots of preaching about being holy. Holiness was not something left to God or saints of the past. It was pressed upon us as a spiritual state and behavior that is possible, expected, and normal in life—here and now. According to the doctrine, anything less than living to the glory of God—that is, living to please only God with integrity, honesty, love for all, and in avoidance of sin—was abnormal. It was to make us holy and to make holy living normal that Jesus Christ was born, crucified and resurrected, we were told. And the folks in our church and circles tried hard to be holy. They took it very seriously and their seriousness often translated into stifling sternness, rigidity, misplaced judgment, and an obsession for perfection.
INVITING SONG. I have since thought that the value of holiness teaching is not missed at the point of attempting, but at the point of the heaviness most attempting foments. One of the scriptures we were frequently quoted was, “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 96:9). That oft-repeated verse, and others like it, came off like a heavy-handed warning, like a command that thundered from above. But, in fact, the phrase is taken from poetry. It is one line of an exuberant, inviting song. Even the phrase “beauty of holiness” suggests something very different from the stifling and restricting context out of which holiness was preached.
LEGALESE OR POETRY? “The beauty of holiness.” What an interesting phrase. It sounds like a work of art by the mind and hand of an artist. Could it be that holiness is not the domain of miter-hatted teachers, nor the terrain of linear-thinking dogmatists, but the milieu of heart-longing, soul-searching artists? Is holiness the language of legalese or the tongue of poetry? Is it historical genre or avant-garde? Is holiness best defined or described? Is it requirement or reflection?
IMAGINATION AND PLAYFULNESS. As a doctrine, holiness lacks imagination and playfulness. It is heavy and solemn when it might be light and whimsical. If one would be holy, contemplate the actions and attributes of the Holy One. The first act of God is to create. A mere walk in the woods reveals that God is first of all creative with a diversity beyond our wildest imaginations. If God is holy, then holiness includes beauty, creativity, imagination, variety, humor, music-making, dance and drama. God is jester in God’s own court.
UNCAPTURED CREATEDNESS. The saints in my childhood church were led to believe their goodness rested in their assent to holiness doctrine and the suspicion-guided restrictions by which they abided. But I believe their goodness rested in their createdness and the part of their being no doctrine can capture. For all their austerity and solemnity, they could not help but occasionally be playful and exuberant. Grace breaks through even to those who do their best to douse it.
MAKING THE CASE. To me, the most compelling case for living in reflection of the holiness of God is found in the music of holiness folk. Songs reflecting heart-felt experiences of sojourners linger with the soul long after preaching is forgotten and doctrinal dictums dismissed. Wesleyan songs sing spiritedly and in amazement of a grace that reaches deeper than the stain of sin has gone. They reflect hope for hurting, longing hearts—hope that realizes its source and fulfillment in the mercy and grace of God in Christ. So, Charles Wesley sings:
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin.
Let the healing streams abound;
Make me and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the Fountain art;
Freely let me take of Thee.
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.