And The Disciples were Concerned about Exorcists?
This from ASBO Jesus
Dealing with the contradictions and challenges of faith, disbelief, and living and dying
This from ASBO Jesus
I spoke yesterday on the passage in Mark 9:38-50. In many ways it is the most challenging passage in scripture for me. The great millstone to be hung around my neck should I lead any of the "little ones" astray. I spoke about how when I took things literally, it was very obvious just to give folks a cup of water. I told them by giving them water I had assured my reward in heaven (or been additionally blessed depending on your reading) - cause that's what it says. I then got to talking about how people really weren't taking the whole scripture literally, they were merely taking it literally as they chose. The evidence was a plain as the hand before my face. No one I knew was walking around maimed from having cut off hand, arm or eye or some other body part because it caused them to sin. I reminded them that the scriptures also tell us something deeper. The surface may be easy, but it does get harder. In that way I spoke about the passage where Jesus tells the Disciples it isn't what goes into the mouth that causes us to be unclean, but what comes out for it comes from the heart. And so it is with all sin, that it comes from our hearts and our minds. Our body parts don't cause us to sin. But, if I carry the logic out then I must cut my heart and mind out. Paul even tells us to have our hearts circumcised. We are given several commandments - the Great Commandment, and the others: to baptize, to teach them to obey, to cast out demons, to heal the sick, to care for those in prison. Water was a sign of hospitality, as are the commandments, they bring us back to community. We are not to run off those that do not do things our way, even if they are sinners to us (and yes I included adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, liars and the like by name, as well as running a denominational list before them), because Christ has called them to do things in his name as well. As long as they are doing so, they are not against us, but for us. So, if you want to take things literally, begin by giving some water.
I was once one of those who took the Bible literally. Pretty quickly I realized that I could not do so with any amount of integrity. I found passages that contradicted each other, and so I could justify those that directly override another passage, but then I get left with those that just plain contradict each other. (oh, gee, really, some of you want examples - sure now you throw that at me [sarcasm] I may have to come up with those for you)
Maybe you have noticed that most of my blogs of late would qualify as Tweets in Twitter as well. I could take the cut and paste pieces and just add the shortened URL to the post.
...belongs to someone else.
Some pieces that caught my attention today.
Labels: Community Discourse
I have recently been asked to help develop a worship service for Young Adults - which in this instance probably means college students.
As of late I have been enamored of Dan Dick and the work he is producing on his blog.
I just wanted to add this bit from the UM Portal:
Yesterday I was watching my twitter feed, and Steve Heyduck posted something that grabbed my attention. I had a gut reaction, and I failed to complete the thought in 140 characters, and digest the conversation with any real strength.
The Prayer of An Unknown Confederate Soldier
Today while around the table with a bunch of other clergy from UMCs in the area one of the pastors asked what we were reading of interest these days.
I was talking with my dad the other day up the trail to Ruby Lake.
I found these things while in my tours of the Owens Valley this past week.
Did I tell you I had a caffeine addiction?
I needed a break. The time had come and I needed to get away from work for a bit.
As I was sitting down to a piece of homemade chocolate cake the other night, I ran across and article reminding me that I needed to put down the cake, slim down, exercise more, and do more eating right and generally be a better person. And the writer was correct. I need to do those things.
Got this today. I know it seems odd to me to repost email forwards on my blog too, but this one caught my attention and rather than send another email to everyone on my address list, I thought I would pass this along here. HT: Imojean
You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story. Gives you something to think about.
Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the home of her husband's employer.
My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.
The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. Her husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.
As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant one evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband.
He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.
He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure.
How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?
Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.
A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?
"Look at it," he said. "Read what it says."
She read the words, " United States of America .."
"No, not that. Read further."
"No, keep reading."
"In God we Trust?"
"And?. . ."
"And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin, I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him. Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray. I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!"
When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh. "Yes, God, I get the message!"
It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful! And, God is patient.
I keep watching as friends and others I follow on their blogs do more and more with trying to track their followers, make sense of the hit counts, etc.
Via Bro Greg
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
Romans 2:1-4 (TNIV)