Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Well, I Did It...

Here it is--the groveling letter for better or worse. Kudos to Kara for pointing me to Philippians 4. She wanted me to look at verse 19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." However, it was an earlier verse that caught my eye. Anyway, here's my epistle...

Dear Pastor Brown:

Writing this note has been the most difficult thing I have ever done. I have written it in my head, on paper and in e mail draft probably 20 times. I have been one who has always been able to meet my needs. I know that the Church of the Resurrection has a fund for those who are struggling with unemployment. Due to extended unemployment, I find myself needing some financial help at this time. So somewhat hesitantly, I turn to ask for help from the church.

I am not in danger of being homeless. My home is paid for. However, I need assistance with utility costs--electricity, water and telephone. I can provide whatever documentation is needed, and am agreeable to whatever method would be done.

I continue to actively seek work, and I would expect that this activity will be increasing over the next couple of weeks.

When I was talking about how hard it was to write this letter with a Christian friend, she directed me to refresh my memory of Philippians 4. I thought it a bit presumptuous, but when I read this familiar but deep bit of Scripture I found my attention focused on Philippians 4:14. After Paul described how he had come to have peace with whatever situation he was in (Phil. 4:11-13), he found himself rejoicing simply when reflecting on the care that the church in Philippi had given him. I think this is something the church has sometimes neglected, this ministering to the needy within our own walls. We should rejoice every time someone can honestly say, "Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles." (NIV) Once I get back on my feet, I hope to "pay it forward" with regularity. I have come to realize that I took many things for granted and now truly treasure the blessings God has given me. I'd say that is one (of many!) spiritual lessons God has taught me over these past two years.

If there are questions that need to be answered, please feel free to contact me, either by email or by phone xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Thank you very much.

Blessings to you,


So we'll see what happens. The phone is good for a while. The water company just shifted to monthly billing, so who knows there. I need to check on the electric bill's status. Hopefully, all the winter current is paid for! Need to keep going, to keep doing these hard things that cause me anxiety...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just Wait Until You See This!

I'm going to wait for my answer to be moderated, but you should see the reply on Finnell's blog. It's amazing the assuming that was going on. This time I mean it, I am not posting there ever again, and I may never post on a Christian blog again. Theology may be too nuanced and personal for the blog format. I may think that a blogger is a liberal and a socialist nut job and they may think that I'm an ignorant member of the vast right wing conspiracy but I suspect we won't be condemning the other to Hell or for leading others to Hell. There's just something intensely personal about someone questioning your theology, especially when you would like nothing better than to help others to come to God through Jesus Christ. Politics is for the here and now. Theology is for the eternal--I think that is what makes the difference. The stakes are higher.

Here it is--and I mean it, I am DONE HERE. See a couple posts down for my post that declared my done-ness the first time. You will be able to see how much reading into my words was done...

Blogger Onesimus said...

the observer,
I fail to see any love in keeping silent when someone is on the wrong path heading in the wrong direction.

Being loving is NOT keeping silent about someone's sin or someone's false doctrine.

Love is pointing in them in the right direction.

In this case I have been encouraging people to search the scriptures for themselves so they can be sure that what they are being taught the truth.

IF the catholic churches, prostestant churches, orthodox churches, pentecostal churches, charismatic churches or any other church is teaching the truth they have absolutely nothing to worry about. They should have no concern at all about losing their followers because the church teaching will be in agreement with scripture.

The important thing is to search the scriptures for ourselves AS WRITTEN and not to read any preconceptions into it.

Ultimately WE have responsibility for our own relationship with God. It will NOT be our church or its ministers who will face judgement on our behalf.
With that in mind what could be more loving than to make sure all of us are following GOD and HIS truth instead of a church, a favoured doctrine or just the sinful and selfish ways of mankind?

June 28, 2010 7:49 PM

Blogger the observer said...

Did I say to keep silent in my comment? No I did not. You read that into the comment. The blog format is not conducive to good dialog for exactly that reason.

You've taken my remark on the lack of love in this thread and extended it out to mean that this writer would tolerate error and discourage honest humble Spirit-led examinations of the Scriptures and loving correction of both self and others.

Well, you are not correct in that extension or assumption. Perhaps my skin is too thin for this forum? In which case I say again, ciao.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

Have a blessed day!

June 28, 2010 8:49 PM

Step Study Homework for June 30

Principle 1: Realize I'm not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.

"Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor." Matthew 5:3

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviours, that our lives had become unmanageable.

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." Romans 7:18

I'm going to try and at least post the questions here in the blog, even without answers, just to have sort of a different forum to work things out. After the years of therapy and groups and other yada yada I've done, I would have thought these were pretty simple, but first glance does not give me ready answers especially for the first two. I might try to rough something out real quick--then I need to compose the groveling email.

So, we have...Bible stuff, which I can't do, because the Well didn't have any more of the CR Bibles, and...

Study Guide questions:
1. What areas of your life do you have power (control) over? Be specific.
  • What I do daily--I set the agenda or try to.
2. What areas of your life are out of control, unmanageable? Be specific.
  • I can't control fear and anxiety very well. It definitely hinders me from doing the things I need to do.
  • Relationships are a struggle--due to the rejection I fear.
3. How do you think taking this first step will help you?
  • Oh, I know I'm not god. I figured that out a while ago. Just going back and admitting that my own effort and power is not sufficient to over come sin is a good thing.
  • Make sure that there is not something I am overlooking.
  • Enlist an Ally in the struggle against negative thoughts and the Evil One.
4. As a child, what coping skills did you use to get attention or to protect yourself?
  • I tried to protect myself by being perfect.
  • I tried to please people--peers and family.
5. In your family of origin, what was the "family secret" that everyone was trying to protect?
  • Oh, Lord, which one?
Hmmm, this might be too personal for blogging...might need to edit here, a little, and let it all hang out elsewhere. We'll touch base occasionally here however.

Revelation Song

All those posts on theology--that's enough. Time for some worship in song!

Another gem discovered from 5 p.m. worship...

Most Christian Blogs Suck (or at Least Aren't Very Much Fun)

I'll have further evidence in a bit, when a blog comment is moderated, but doesn't it seem as if most Christian blogs, if they spend any time at all discussing theology and doctrine, quickly become very nasty and unloving? Seriously. It may be the blog format, as people are making short statements in writing, to anonymous or unknown audiences, that makes it unavoidable. There is this air on many Christian blogs of having a corner on the truth, and anyone who believes otherwise, is not a Christian. I just have trouble with people voting others out of the Kingdom. We are so HUMAN and FINITE and LIMITED that I just don't see anyone having the bona fides to condemn another who professes to be a Christ follower that they are not somehow a true Christian. It seems totally contrary to what Jesus taught about love and judgment.

I'm not talking about people who don't even pretend to believe, or searchers, or those who are in plain error. One must speak the truth in love to such, as guided by His loving Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit do His convicting, teaching and guiding job. That's what He's here for.

Back in seminary days, there was the Cathedral Door--remember? That empty bulletin board in the basement. People could post stuff and others would/could respond. Most times it was a respectful exchange, and I do believe that AT moderated it (i.e. physically removed offensive posts), but sometimes it did get heated. But, by and large though a stop at the Cathedral Door was a fun thing, giving you something to think about. People also posted cartoons and other funny stuff. My favorite: The little Calvin character, appearing sometime in the last 4 weeks of one semester, with the saying, "They say that we are given a certain amount of things to accomplish during our lives. Right now I am so far behind I will never die!"

Right understanding of our faith is important, there is no doubt. There's stuff out there that is not Christian, that tries to get in to the Church. There are certain things upon which there can be no compromise. Our stand must be firm on those things. Those things also are the basis for the hope that is within us.

Here is my post, the response, and me, giving up.

Blogger the observer said...

You all are giving me a headache, as you must also give God a heartache. Such divisions among us, it's heart breaking and a terrible testimony to the world about the Christian faith.

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

June 25, 2010 8:17 PM

Blogger Onesimus said...

Divisions among US?

Firstly you have to define how people are considered part of "US".

Do we include mormons & JWs"? Do we include everyone and anyone who professes some belief in Jesus, no matter what that belief entails?

Do we sit back and agree to disagree on everything merely to maintain "unity" and prevent "division"?

Or do we become familiar with the truth and promote the truth?

Do we follow the example of Jesus and the apostles who warned people against the many errors being promoted in God' name or do we ignore it all and let others be led astray?

"They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie ..."

June 27, 2010 6:26 PM

Blogger the observer said...

Nice job...

I'll not be commenting again, now having been properly slapped.

Read what has been written in this comment section and tell me that is something that Jesus would have approved of. Seriously. Intellectually, you may have scored. As far as having the kind of love that attracts the sin-ridden and hurting, the separated from God, the actively questioning, maybe not so much.

A few may be argued and logic'ed into the Kingdom, but most will be loved into the Kingdom.

The love comes from God, the God of the Bible, the redemption of the Cross, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit. Sharing of God's Truth in and with love. The one feeds the other. They come together in a wonderful circle that builds on itself.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15.

With that, I'll bid you adeau, although I'll be lurking.

June 28, 2010 4:08 PM

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adam Hamilton Sticks His Neck Right Out

Pastor Hamilton, having annoyed before the women can't teach in church crowd, now annoys the 6,000 year old/literal creation crowd when he took on Genesis 1-3 today. No doubt his email box will be filled with "loving" notes from Christians disagreeing with him.

I'm amazed he hasn't been run out on a rail; there must be enough people at that church who recognize that Methodist does not equal Fundamentalist (that's with a big F, people). If your hermeneutic leans towards the literal you are not going to be happy in a Wesleyan/Armenian church. You should go find a nice Fundamentalist church where the interpretation of the Bible is done in a way that you are more comfortable with--we'll see you in Heaven--we'll leave the light on for ya!

Whatever lens you use to interpret the Bible, remember our finite and sin tainted nature. Remember that we are to be imitators of Christ in our lives. Remember that love counts for more than skillful biblical interpretation. Remember that we were created in the image of God to love God, and be stewards of His creation. We were made to worship God.

Figuring Out Theological Things

Blogger Finnell asked the question, "Where to go for answers to theological issues?" His basic premise is that the Bible is the only place where answers for the Christian can be found. I agree that the first source of answer is the Bible, and that is the first place a Christian ought to go.

However, to throw out all commentary because it is written by humans is a disservice to the Body of Christ. Most significantly, it negates the role of the Holy Spirit. Who says the Holy Spirit cannot inspire men and women to find the Truth of a passage of Scripture and move them to record that finding? If I am reading a passage, and I have applied hermeneutic principles to the passage, and I am not clear on the reading, even after prayerful consideration, why can I not consult with a scholar (via a book) who has studied the passage more, can work in the original language, and has presented himself and his gifts to the church body for recognition? Also, why reinvent the wheel over and over again? The Holy Spirit--the same Holy Spirit that works today in believers' lives--is the very same Holy Spirit that inspired John Wesley and warmed his heart (for example).

The trouble comes up because all interpretation of Scripture, even with the work of the Holy Spirit is done by humans who are finite in intelligence, and limited in vision. Which means, wait now, hold your breath--we could be at least partial--here it comes now--wrong or only partially right or just not quite getting it or a little confused. This means that there is potential for disagreement. And when there is potential for disagreement, in difficult passages, there is potential for sinful behavior as we decide that those who interpreted differently are not proper Christians. (Well, in your last post, you ruled the Mormons out of the Christian church, whose to say their take on Christ is wrong? We are not talking here about basics that are easy to figure out, like who Jesus is in the Holy Bible. We may struggle to understand His nature as very God and very Man, but it is crystal clear that is His nature. Also, Mormons add writings that are not recognized as inspired by the Church, so the error is multiplied. Yeah, yeah that opens up another issue--establishing the canon. We are already saying that Holy Spirit filled believers yesterday and today can make theological decisions--including what writings are truly "God breathed".)

So in the end, we need to remember our limits. The Bible is our first source, and sometimes Scripture is plain in its meaning, and sometimes it is not so plain. We use the brains God gave us and the Spirit He filled us with to guide us as we work on our interpretation of more difficult passages and points. We are not afraid to consult church fathers to help us in our work. We are free to disagree with them, or to find them helpful in our work. Always guided by the Holy Spirit and the knowledge that all will not be crystal clear now. Remembering that in the end, to be loving like Jesus is our goal, and God is more interested in the state of our hearts than our "rightness". Paul promised, after his discussion of the importance and primacy of love in 1 Corinthians 13, that we would see "face to face."

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith,hope and love, But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)

Steve Finnell Posts In Response

Ha! Poking with a stick has its rewards. Mr. Finnell of christian-with-a-view posted not one but two posts aimed, maybe not specifically at my comment, but at the sentiment behind it. He posted one post on Truth/Liberalism and the other on where one finds answers to theological questions--from the Bible or writings of man. I'm glad he posted these posts, and I hope they will act to cause people to be thoughtful in their commentary.

Now, as to the posts themselves, I do agree that Truth can be a casualty of liberal thought. Liberals have difficulty with hard statements. To me, there are certain aspects of Christianity which are not negotiable. For example, Christology. the Bible is pretty clear on who Christ is. A body that defines him otherwise, or lays on extrabiblical stuff, is not a Christian church. Mormons and JW's both do not give Jesus Christ His proper status as fully God and fully Man. To me, they are both cults or separate religious systems. They are not Christian. Also the Truths in the Bible exist as they sit on the shelf. They do not require someone to experience them. (I remember the first time I heard this concept in seminary--I recoiled--that's the only way to describe it.) Also, the Bible is not a "Living Document"--changing with the times.

Truth has to be held to, whether or not it makes friends. There are ways to hold truth that are loving--those of us who call our selves Christians must always speak the Truth in Love. We are always conscious of the fact that people are watching our unwritten testimony. We don't compromise just to get along--but it's not about running over people, winning arguments and judging others. Remember we are finite, and God's in charge, and He is the last arbiter of salvation. We try to understand the Truth, as presented in the Bible, God's word, and live out its message and precepts.

The United Methodist Church went through a period where they were so open to anything, that some very sub and non Christian things were tolerated. My guess is the people rebelled. The people are usually more conservative than a church's leadership or academics. The Methodists got their chain yanked, and have returned to a more conservative outlook, although they certainly didn't turn into Nazarenes. It doesn't hurt that the UMC is starting to look back at John Wesley, examining his works and thinkings. Mr. Wesley was explicitly guided by the Bible, the source of all truth for Christians.

That is a nice opening for a few words on Mr. Finnell's second post, but it'll have to wait, as it is time for church!

The BoyCat, R

Meet my BoyCat R. He loves to flip over and look at the world from an upside down point of view. Of all the photos I've taken of him rolled over, this is by far the best. Right now, it's the wall paper on my cell phone. Whenever I see it, it makes me smile and go, "Awwww."

I adopted him from Siamese Rescue. He has oriental blood in him, and his vocal abilities and head shape reveal it. He can go from a silent meow to a shriek in about a second. He is also just a tiny bit neurotic. He's like a mix of Phi and Bu with a little sweetness thrown in, personality wise. He also loves the GirlCat like a sister.

His face is the face of the blog--the infamous Observer kitty, poking sticks in eyes all over the internets! (Me? Me? Not me...)

That's the family at Chez Observer. I love these guys. There are very few things that are more dear to me than these cats.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Step Study Starts

Starting Step Study for real next week. This is a picture of one of the study guides.

It's a little scary in a few ways. Church paid for my study materials and yet another Bible (they read the devotionals out of it, so couldn't slither out of it). So here we go, more attempts to get out of the wacky head ward.

My LadyCat, P

P was adopted right off the street. She'd had a litter of kittens and they were all adopted by families at the old apartments in Grandview. But she was around a year old and past the cute kitten stage, so no one took her in. I thought it was very sad that she would be left outside to fend for herself, probably to have repeat cycles of pregnancy and birth. So I brought her in, even though that made five. (Pretty sure she came after the sweet boy.) She really bloomed after we moved to the house 10 years ago; more and more of her personality began to emerge. She suffered when our kitty family was so big. As I have lost cats from the original group, her personality has emerged more and more.

Cell phone shot of a yawn. She's lost her right upper fang here. She had diabetes but got over it. She has hyperthyroid now. I sometimes think she's had some cognitive changes lately. I'm pretty sure she's lost some hearing. I worry every day may be her last day. She hates the heat. But she still likes to eat and to try and run outside. She's my Old Girl.

My GirlCat, H

H.'s toes are the eighth wonder of the world. I love looking at her big feets. She likes to sit on bags with laundry in them. Even dirty laundry. She's adopted from my vet's office. According to the Vet Tech, she just showed up in someone's back yard one day as a kitten. First time I saw her she was probably 4 months old, very talkative and playful. She's still playful and somewhat talkative. She doesn't like to be held, is a bit fussy about where she steps, but can be a great lap cat and masseuse.

She is sensitive though. She had a set back when Be died. He may have died right in front of her, as they were still in the chase and play stage of things. That made her fearful to leave the bedroom. It took her awhile to reclaim the house, especially the hall way.

H is a great example of the tri color cat--a lot sweet and a little nuts.

My Theory on Why We Have Denominations

On one of the Christian blogs that I link to over on Observer there was a post noting that one's denomination does not save, that it is the faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross that saves. The comment section...ah, the comment section had devolved into Catholic/evangelical bashing. Oh, this just hurts my heart and it must just break God's. When we run around, voting people out of the Kingdom like we're god and we know shit from shinola about who's saved and who isn't, well, it almost makes me want to pull that blog off the roll. I commented, staying just long enough to note God's broken heart, and quote John 17. I could quote the whole chapter, but I settled for quoting this part.

20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.25"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." (NIV)

Now, why in tarnation do we have all the denominations? Here's my own personal theory. I don't have Bible verses to back this up or impeccable logic or any of that. This is simple observation: we are finite in our understandings, and we are sinful in our actions and our spiritual life in a group (like an organized church) seems to decay as sure as material objects following the laws of thermodynamics.

New organizations of Christians seem to pop up when the old organizations of Christians begin to neglect some important aspect of the Gospel. Two examples--the Reformation in the 1500s and the Wesleyan Revival of the 1700s. The first reminded the Church of salvation by grace and the second reminded the Church of the work of the Holy Spirit.

Those are the low hanging fruit examples, there are probably others.

I can't stand it when people start ruling each other out of the Kingdom. It's not conflict avoidance. Can't we actually discuss theological issues without judging each other's level of salvation? Is that too hard for so-called Spirit filled Christians?

You will know them by their fruit. That is nasty and bitter fruit there.

Here's the blog post that got this started, with its 30+comments. It's not the post itself that got me revved up; it was the comment section.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hold Us Together and Christ Is Risen

Time for more music. Matt Maher has been in my CD player since Easter...

And here's the awesome Easter tune...sorry it's not a live performance video...seems as if none has been posted yet.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dr. Laura on Cowardice and Fear

Check this out--it still knock me on my fanny--cause it's so darn TRUE!!! Bold is mine...

Recently, I had a caller to my radio program - a 22 year old woman - who complained to me that she was anguished over the homecoming of her mother from a vacation. It seems life is quite terrible for this woman with “Mommy dearest” around.

I asked her why, at 22 years old, she was still living with her mother when it was such a horrible experience. Her answer was quick and to the point: “I am a coward.” I gently (yes, I can be gentle!) informed her that there is a price to everything, and the price for cowardice is anguish. There’s no fix for that without moving past cowardice.

Life situations are largely out of our control, but the decisions we make and the steps we take for responsible action are in our control. Cowardice (as my caller put it), however, is a major problem in a large number of people’s lives. That’s why you hear people argue both sides of a situation when asked why they don’t speak up, take legal action, confront, and so on. They’ll say: “Yeah, I know…,”and then cowardice takes over because they don’t want anyone mad, they don’t want to lose something (money, connection, etc.), and they don’t want to have the feeling of being alone. Because of cowardice, they will tolerate abuse and put others (like children and spouses) in harm’s way.

The tell-tale signs of cowardice are the phrases “Yes, I know…,” and “But…,” and“It’s not always so bad…,” and “But I’m not always so good either…,” and “Can’t they just go into therapy?,” and my favorite, “But what if….”

You get the picture.

Remember, ultimately, you are the architects of your own lives. Cowardice wastes your precious time on earth.

I am so struggling with fear and anxiety right now and it is just nuts, because something has to change or I'm going to be in real trouble here. Not homeless, but penniless and sitting in the dark. I keep telling myself, "Just do it, you chucklehead," but it doesn't get done, and procrastination rules the day. Nothing will get changed until I step out and do something different. Lord, help me to remember that I have talents and gifts you gave me and there is a place for me. I have to be powerful enough to go out and find that place--it's not just going to fall in my lap!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Adding to the Header

For grins, I decided to load the picture of Vincent singing at Easter into the header. It came out pretty good considering that's a cell phone picture. We could end up like blogger bud peedee, changing the header whenever the fancy strikes us.

I've thought about loading the cats up on the sidebar...

Well, it's my blog and I can do what I want to!

The Granddaddy of Dangerous Songs: Take My Life and Let It Be

Be careful, child of Christ, what you sing...because if you sing this song like you mean it, there will be repercussions.

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

--by Frances Havergal

Worship Time is Coming

Internets time goes by sooo fast. It is just about time to pack up and make our way south on Roe to church. It's a CART/Medicall weekend for me too, so I like to get there just a pinch early.

When I look back on the insanity that seemed to take over my life for most of 2007 and 2008, one thing I can't believe is how I fell away from going to worship services. Let's be blunt, the sermons from Pastor Keith were boring me. No matter how much sleep I had, or how hard I tried, I would be yawning and drifting off during his sermons. I would enjoy all of worship to that point and then, a boredom switch would go off with the beginning of the sermon.

The first Sunday I was at COR, I literally started weeping during the singing. It was like standing under a refreshing shower. No, no quite. As a nurse, when would supervise blood transfusions, I would say to the patient: "You are going to feel much better." That's what that first worship service felt like: an infusion of oxygen and energy, like more RBCs to an anemic.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Arise, My Soul, Arise

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;
He cannot turn away, the presence of His Son;
His Spirit answers to the blood,
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

--by Charles Wesley

Yes, sometimes, I do miss the hymns...

Note to Self

Sheri and Ron and Nancy gave me $5 each for fuel. This is such a relief! I hated asking but the money thing is genuinely going to become part of the decision of whether or not I go someplace.

I'm making a note of it, because I intend to pay it back. Or pay it forward. Or something. Not just take it like a selfish twit.

What Time Is It?


I can only wish it was 2200 something---noticed it with the last post--I forgot to change the Blogger time zone settings!

Shit, It's Late!

I'm sitting out by Dunn Bros at Red Bridge and Holmes and I was going to at least type a draft of the groveling letter, but it didn't happen. Crazy. Crazy. Ef'ing crazy.

The rain is a pain--not much action going on in the back yard with an inch of rain (at least) falling every other day--but I loathe the hot weather. Especially since my broke ass self doesn't dare run the AC. So rain or sweat--take your pick.

I have to get over this fear of rejection and do what I must do. Please Lord, help me with this.

Drunk people down a couple doors, I am out of here.

More effort tomorrow--well, later today--hopefully and prayerfully more success.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Hard

It's hard to ask for help. I really am going to need help to pay for the phone and electric. I have a draft of the letter to COR here next to me on a pad, and I hate it. I feel like I'm groveling.

The bizarre thing is that I believe that the Christian church must help each other. Christians must actively help one another. Absolutely.

Have to accept it as well as give it.

Funny, there are people in society whose hands are permanently stretched out asking for help. And there are others who would sooner starve, or sit in the dark, then ask for help.

I feel unworthy of help a lot. That's a lot of it. It's not a spiritual feeling. It's part pride and part the tapes of the past stuck in my head that I am not worth someone else's efforts.

Still working on this...but if I don't get busy I will be sitting in the dark and without a phone! Or with no money for food and gas...

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Here's another hymn that just blesses me so much! Shame, it's not in the current United Methodist church hymnal. It's been over 100 years, lets bury the hatchet now!

1. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

2. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost;
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

3. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God's dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus,
Praise His Name!
Lyrics: Haldor Lillenas
I shared some of my favorite hymns with a therapist--I think it was in 2000--and she noted that the overriding theme seemed to be freedom or release from bondage. YES, I'm so glad my Lord came along and saved me from sin and death!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And Can It Be?

There is sooo many other things I should be doing, but it's like I let a dam break. One last post before I try to figure out how to write emails asking COR to help me with money issues. I am one broke ass blogger!

This is by Charles Wesley and it is my favorite hymn ever.

And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior's blood!
Died he for me? who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

'Tis mystery all: th' Immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
to sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
let angel minds inquire no more.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
let angel minds inquire no more.

He left his Father's throne above
(so free, so infinite his grace!),
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
alive in him, my living Head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach th' eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th' eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Best. Description. Ever.

It's over on the mothership, but I just have to repeat it, the very best description of the Christian Church I have ever read, anywhere:

Lurching on toward the kingdom, I decided. Staggering drunkenly toward the kingdom, the way every good church must because, while bringing in the kingdom of God is the business of the Church, we never get it right. We lurch, we stagger, we fall, we rise, we resist, we refuse, we fail, we fall, we rise, we fall, we rise. Bad planning on God's part, if you ask me, making human beings responsible, but there it is: the pattern abides.

From Mary Cartledgehayes, the book is called Grace and it's amazing and breathtaking and totally awesome in every way.

A bit of commentary here: I totally trust God with this. I mean, it is crazy to leave the spreading of the Gospel to us disciples. He did that you know, quite explicitly in the Bible. "Go into all the world..." he said. But but but He did send along the Holy Spirit, and Jesus is pretty explicit about the role of the Third Person of the Trinity. The best of that is in John. So while we stumble and bumble, and argue with each other about just about everything there is to argue about, we are still charged to be first, living out God's grace and love in front of everyone else and second, to be the hands and feet of God in the world--Him providing the brains for the effort and us the labor.

We do come off looking really goofy a lot of the time though.

From the Inside Out and Hosanna

So, first music video, we sung this in church June 13, 2010.

How about another? Make it two for Tuesday.

You Really Want to Start Another One?

Well, this will make four.

Four blogs for four interests.

Our life and times--the news, culture, weather, "how we are"--that's what gets done on "South Kansas City Observer". It's the mother ship, more than willing to take contributions from the subsidiaries.

Sports--"You're Looking Live"--like the subtitle says "Semi-informed rantings about the world of sports."

Photography--Publishing after a fashion for the first time the products of my lifelong love and participation in taking pictures.

And now, a Christian blog. For one, maybe a blog that I don't present so obviously to the world. Yeah, it's on my profile. But I'll lead with SKC Observer first and the two older ones second. This one may be a bit more personal, a bit more about what I heard and felt and said about the Christian faith and my working out my salvation and everything.

And a good place to put videos of awesome worship tunes!