Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray
We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing
We're slaves to the olfactory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold
But Lord, I'd like to take a few minute more
To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for
For my family, my health, a nice soft bed
My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head
I'm thankful right now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they'll ever possibly know
Thankful Lord, that You've blessed me beyond measure
Thankful that in my heart lives life's greatest treasure
That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And I'm ever so grateful for Your unending grace
So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You've provided
And bless each and every person invited
Johnny Cash sings a Thanksgiving blessing.
Who can ever forget this?
Thanksgiving sounds and sights by pianist George Winston
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The Gospel, Old and New
Evangelicals and Catholics...a very good presentation on the similarities and differences. Chris Castaldo presents a very good arguement and one in which I find similar to my own. Read the follow on comments as well as they are thoughtful.
Feeding On Christ...If you love Reformation thinking, here's a gold mine for you to dig around in.
Required Behavior Modification and the Gospel...And how can I not bring a little balance here with my favorite Internet Monk...who is not a monk, by the way...Michael Spenser. Follow the links he suggests. It is great reading and listening.
Change of pace...
Want to listen to some music? Try Steve McCoy's suggestions at Reformissionary for some good Five dollar CD's.
That's all folks...until next time.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Like, if Jesus says we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and then love our neighbor as ourselves, then.....why the heck can't I?
I mean, it's so easy to love my wife, my friends and my church but to love my neighbor? Come on...have you seen that jerk?
How can I love a guy I don't agree with? Doesn't he know he should think like me?
Then I get this thought, If I say I love God and don't love my neighbor then the whole mess falls apart. No unity is possible. No harmony is possible and furthermore, I don't love God. I shudder when I think that not to love my enemies tells me I really don't love God.
But...when I know they are wrong and committing grave and serious sin...in my opinion...then how can I love them? Well, does God love them in their sin?
And doesn't God consistently try to reach out to them?
And shouldn't they repent before they are forgiven?
Uh...uh oh...Forgiveness took place on the cross didn't it? Repentance is simple their choice to respond to God's forgiveness through Christ by turning to him.
Folks, I don't love God. I'm learning that to love God means I take on his nature to love others. But in order to love others, I need to fall in love with the Lover.
God is love. I can't make anyone else love. I can't make anyone else be lovers. I can't make anyone become what I think they should become. My job is to be what God wants me to be and that's to be His lover. And when I become his lover, he becomes my lover enabling me to love others. I repeat, my job isn't to MAKE someone love. My job is to love.
I'm not there yet. You'll know when I am before I do, I'm sure. But until then, be patient with me. I goof up.....a lot.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
My plans are to develop everything to match the title of my blog which is I Am Loved. The chief commandment of Christ was to Love God and Love Others and as a result serve the world. I'm woefully deficient in the latter two, so will be addressing those changes as time goes along. I realize that all the talk about loving God is useless unless I love others, friend and foe. That ultimately means sharing that love by touching the lives of others using the gifts given to me.
I'll never be a polished academic author but in my own simple way, I'll use what gifts and writing skills I have to touch the common man. Love does that. I've always been someone who will fight for what I believe. But I've also come to the belief that doctrine and creeds do more to divide and cause division than they unite. Love teaches me that God is more concerned that we share his nature which is love and try to find common ground between the various understandings of truth. It's our understandings of truth that divide us. There is one truth we can rally around and that is Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. It is in Jesus that we learn who the Father is and it is Jesus that we gain an understanding of love, for he is the reflection of the love of the Father and the Trinity. Trusting in the Holy Spirit, I learn that the Holy Spirit enables me to love, teaches me about love and guides me into love. Jesus prayed that we might be one with the trinity. There is nothing more important.
Jesus is my main focus. Love is the expression of his life. If I focus on Jesus, love will be the result. Sometimes that love is tough, but still, it is love. A.B. Simpson said it well in his great hymn Himself which reads,
Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once 'twas painful trying, Now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once 'twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting, Now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning, Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once 'twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking, Now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the vail.
Chorus: All in all forever...Jesus will I sing
Everything in Jesus and Jesus everything.
Jesus is the source of true love. If love is to be our message then we begin with Jesus who enables us to love. There is no other message.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Having said that, I've also said that Catholics couldn't teach their faith out of a paper bag. They are horrible communicators. Their books are dense, full of Catholic shop talk that no one but them understands. And I doubt most of their parishoners understand them either. Just look at the dropout rate from Catholic catechism classes as well as major seminaries and universities. And when you figure that, in their own words, seventy five percent of their parishoners don't attend mass, you know something is wrong in their education.
But there is a slow shift occurring. In the acedemic world there are lights on the horizon that show promise. Former Presbyterian Scott Hahn is the behemoth on the block leading the way. Rather than me writing on the promising future of literature, read the Musings of a Pertinacious Papist. The blog on November 9th describes some of the bright advances that are taking place through Ignatius Press in San Francisco. You'll find this incouraging.
I would continue to argue that most of the books are still above the average reader, but that is slowly changing. Enjoy this blog.
If you were brought up in a church that gave you a long list of do's and don'ts to prove your faith,like I was, this is a must read.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Read this article and see if you face the same questions. The Fort Hood Shootings and The Privelege of Disassociation.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Let us all celebrate a man who was a personal friend of Mother Teresa and who most exemplifies the kind of life she led. Fr. Groeshel is a modern day living saint whom God is using in New York and around the world through his exposure on EWTN Catholic TV and radio networks.
May God bless this humble man on this special day. Enjoy this tribute.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Oh...Richard....Christians don't say that word! Christians don't get angry.
THE HELL THEY DON'T!!! This is one who is angry right now.
I just read some blogs of some Frank Viola fans along with other blogs from Catholic to Reformed, from free church to liturgical leaders. From Scot Mcknight to Fr. Thomas Hopko, Orthodox priest. Ana Baptist or wanna be Ana Baptists, (misspelled on purpose) to Reformed Lutherans including one my favorites, Michael Spenser the Internet Monk.
All I read are "everybody is wrong from the first century on, and our group/theology/view of church/the body are the only ones that are/is correct. Rome went wrong with Ignatius so we kick them out of heaven. The reformers were wrong because they carried on the tradition of Rome. The new evangelicals are wrong because they have abandoned the liturgy.
A pox on you all. Not one word of how we can unite under Christ Jesus. Hell, even the liberals who try to make church look like the latest theatre production are more honest than most of our so called worship leaders. At least they admit they want to look like the world to bring in the world. Let me tell you a little secret sports fans, I've seen all this garbage in one form or the other for the last 65 years. There's nothing new under the sun and all this "new" stuff is just rehashed self worship of some kind or another.
Where is Jesus in all this. Sometimes I just want to leave Christianity and throw excrement on it but there's no need because the smell of today's church is sometimes worse than the excrement. I'm sick and tired of a Christianity that doesn't have teeth, a Christianity that is anemic when an honest question comes from a non believer. If they ask at all. Christianity is so irrelevant to the world today, it's no wonder nobody listens to us.
How can we be so dad gummed arrogant to assume we know more than those first century writers?? Do we have some secret time machines where our theologians are traveling back to view the ignorant church fathers who somehow screwed up their understanding of the Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew languages. You mean to tell me that when someone said something that was wrong in that first century no one spoke up and said, "I sat at the feet of the apostles and they didn't mean that."? Phooey!! Take all your degrees and bury them. I think ya'll are nuts.
And don't get me going on the worship wars of "how I can't worship" unless we sing in my tradition. (spit) Or even worse, right wing vs. left wing political nonsense in the church.
Harummph!!! O.K. I've ticked off enough of you to win the Outcast award of the month. I'll just go kick around a few boxes, punch a few holes in the wall, sit in my corner with steam coming out of my ears and pout. Leave me alone, I'll have my pity party by myself. Nobody reads my drivvel anyway.
Maybe someone will appear to me who will look like Jesus. Hmmm, I wonder what THAT will look like. He certainly won't come with the line, "our view is the right view." If he does, I have a size 14 boot that will leave a nasty smear on their backsides.