Sunday Thoughts – 11/14

Elijah in the wilderness, by Washington Allston
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After having spent time with the Manning family years ago, I can honestly say that anytime they get ‘owned’ is a good day for the world. I don’t care if they are only playing football or not. It is just a really good day. I spent a weekend with them once, as an R.A. at Southeastern, when they had their football camp. They are a cult of personalities. Just sayin’, because it is true.

So, winter is starting to set it, ain’t it? The clouds are sky, cool fronts are longer looked up as relief… Coats and jackets are on…. lights and holiday music are everywhere…

I’ve got a busy week this week, so don’t expect too much. I wanted to read some more of those two books, but I’ll get to it when I can. My goal is finish all of my books by the end of the year… Lofty goals…

Next Sunday, I’ll be traveling to Atlanta for SBL. Looking forward to it.

Our Sunday School teacher, a man of a great Christian witness, said that this passage has stuck with him:

There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the LORD said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1Ki 19:9-13 NLT)

Just meditate upon it.

This was a song offered up today, and I thought I might share it with¬† you –

I have heard my people cry,
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save ,
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright,

Have a great and beautiful week!

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Sunday Thoughts – 11/7

East Main Street in Buckhannon, West Virginia
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Daylight Savings Time. Already. Hope you set your clocks to the right position. You’ll just have to guess which is which, I reckon.

Ever been on the cusp? Not sure what is about to happen, but sure that something is? I sort of feel like that. Not sure if it is about my day job, my business, or Church related. Just not sure it isn’t a high heart rate from climbing stairs all weekend. Whatever it is, I hope to be ready to handle it. Never can tell, I guess.

It is such a beautiful day out there today, and we have a special service planned this evening. It is to honor those who have died this past year in the congregation, and indeed, to note those who have gone on before. I know that for me, I do not take enough time to remember those who have fought this good fight successfully, and have slept in the arms of Christ. I am looking forward to it, and not in the least because of the enthusiasm presented by our pastor regarding it.

I spent the weekend in Buckhannon, West Virginia, at my last Church Admin class. I have a paper to write for the course, so it is not over with yet, but at the close of the class, we shared communion. I would share communion once a week if possible, because I find that it draws me closer to those around me and to God in Christ. There is no wrangling of the theology of the bread and the wine, but a simply scriptural reading and remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ. Communion produces unity. The seven us gather around the table and served each other in the solemn act. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

And the year is almost done. Not even two more months to go…. But, we keep sludging through… and now… the holiday season. It is one of the worse times of the year for depression. If you know someone who is suffering through it because of this holiday season, help them. This season is focused on family, so, be a family to someone.

This week is going to be real hectic. Okay, not so much. A lot of my work is to be done tomorrow, so if I can get through tomorrow…. I plan on starting reflection series on two books. Both are important to discussions current in our society or circles. I’ll let you know about them whenever I start to post on them. Sorry, no more details than that. But, I hope you enjoy and participate in them.

I do appreciate the upswing in comments, and I hope that you have found the new system easier to operate.

And, I might have a new contributor of sorts soon enough…

Personally, because I love the songs of the season, for each Sunday until the end of the season I will use this time to post a favorite hymn.

Hope all is well with each of you and have a great week!

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Sunday Thoughts – 10-31

Print shows Luther burning papal bull of excom...
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Today.

Today is Reformation Day. It is the day in which we remember Luther and his politely suggesting that the Church form a committee to address whether or not programs of renewal may be needed. I’m pretty sure that it was met, as it always is, with a resounding round of applause and cheers.

I am still recovering somewhat. We have a guest up from Louisiana, so for the past two days, I’ve been playing tour guide. On Friday, we visited Hawks’ Nest and did some scenic sight seeing, but also finally found the time to visit Whipple, rather what is left of the old coal camp named Whipple, and the company store there. There is some history there that will eventually be brought out, and when it does, I hope to be apart of it. I believe that it will shed some serious light on the beauties of unregulated capitalism. On a positive note there, I was able to touch the printing press which pressed the first edition of Huck Finn. It was owned by some author named Clemens or something.

Oh, and the press used by Charles Manson. But, that was just odd. And a wheel chair that has a bad history.

The next day, as I mentioned yesterday, or was it this morning? Anyway, we went to D.C., joined peaceably in a rally, and came home. All in a day. I am exhausted.I’ve had about 11 hours of sleep since Thursday morning.

But, we went to church this morning, which honored the laity ministers. Right now? I am about ready to go to bed.

This week will be pretty slow. I’ve got some reading to do, plus, I am taking Monday and Tuesday off.

I have some really good news to share, when I can announce it.

I hope that each of you have a great week. I hope as well that regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, we are still one country and that we will start to learn to work together again.

We aren’t do a good job with that, you know.

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Sunday Thoughts – 10/24

No comment.
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First things first –¬† I have a new comment system, like the old, but better. It loads faster and creates static comment pages, so uber-awesome. My readership has increased 50% in the last few months and comments way down. Why? Because it is annoying to use Disqus, or at least I’ve been told. Sure, it afforded me the chance to answer by email, it slowed down the site.

Second, um… no second.

Got a mild week ahead, so lots of reading, a few things for Seminary, some for Church class, and then some for review. I read a lot these days – but don’t think that I don’t want more books.

Had a great service this morning! It was one service, with all three service attendances combined. It was a great spirit there today, with a great vision cast. I am looking forward to doing my part.

We are truly happy with our new church home, but beyond that, the kids are really loving it. They feel, for once, comfortable. So do we. I think that it is changing me somewhat but for the better. I hope that each of you can find such a place…

Also, with my new comment feature, put your mouse over the comment that you want to reply to, and you can, or quote it. Also, there is a listing for similar posts…

I will have a busy weekend next weekend, actually. I have an out-of-town guest coming in for the first time, and will take him around the southern part of the State all day Friday. On Saturday, we are heading to the Rally for Sanity in D.C. LOOK FOR MY SIGNS, and on Sunday, of course, Church. No rest for the bone weary.

Then, taking Monday off, and Tuesday is election day…

No idea what the picture is, but it looked, um, well…. I dunno.

Hope all is well!

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Sunday Thoughts – 10/17

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
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We had a great day today. The weather is beautiful this time of year, although I suspect that the leaves will be peaking in the southern part of West Virginia before too long, meaning that I won’t get to show it off to a friend coming up later this month.

Church, as always, was beautiful. The Pastor preached on not living with the scarcity mind-set. Sunday School class was equally filling, and I will be posting on two thoughts that came up during that time later this week.

Last week was a real busy one, and this week… not so terribly busy. So, maybe I’ll catch up on my reading this week. Right now, I am reading James Payton’s book, Getting the Reformation Wrong while my wife and I are reading, together, N.T. Wright’s, Surprised by Hope. Further, I intend to blog through a few more books, or at the very least, start too.

Also, if you are interested in becoming a contributor, please let me know. Always look for one or two or ten more.

And because I should…

….Don’t forget to check out the IVP Book Club (on the right sidebar, you’ll see the box) and Westminster’s current specials. Both companies are geared to the Christian, and done so by Christians.

I want to encourage you, those without a church home, to find one. After sitting out for a year, returning to a communion of saints has given me great strength. And, being in a real community of faith, as Jim West put it so eloquently a few weeks ago on Facebook, has been a tremendous boost to my spiritual immune system.

I do want to share a concern with you – and maybe it is just me, but I am seeing a rise in for a lack of a better term, ‘Glenn Beck religion’ creeping into our churches. It is a form of dominionism that is demanding immediate action, much to the detriment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us stand behind our pastors with support and prayer and they have to answer this aberration of the Gospel of political sake.

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