Open Blogging

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27 Responses

  1. erunner says:

    Music is up for the week. Feel free to drop by and see what’s new. Have a great weekend!

    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/praise-worship-january-10th-2013/

  2. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    that was very amusing…and took some smarts to write!

  3. Jim says:

    That’s a clever post.

  4. filbertz says:

    X,
    I loved the clever coffee post…but it never revealed the true or orthodox brew.

    filmycuplord 😉

  5. Xenia says:

    Filbertz, I noticed that too!

  6. brian says:

    “Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” ―St. Thérèse of Lisieux

    I find this very compelling. Could not post to the prayer thread got hit with a bunch of health issues all at once. I have been somewhat bed ridden for the last three weeks, lost my voice and about 60 % use of my left arm. My arm is much better and I can talk a little. So I think I am at the end of it but I go in for blood work hope it all checks out ok. I am really grateful first for not having to ask people for help, that was actually my biggest prayer during this. I am glad I am deeply thankful for what health I do have.

  7. J.U. says:

    I’ve always been a fan of analogies. Remember, Jesus taught with parables. Stories told in the way that is familiar to the listener. The point is to make your point using a context or explanation that is accessible to your audience. Here on Phoenix Preacher, we often discuss churches and denominations and preachers, etc. I have to admit that, when the two-dollar words roll out, I get lost. Whether it’s Ecclesiology or Eschatology or Apocalypticism, I’m calling up Google to try to get the idea into my thick head. It may be an argument for pre- or post- or mid- and I don’t get it. Way over my head.

    Some may recall when I posted a long story about the living water. That was a great analogy that I lifted right out of the Holy Scriptures and Jesus own teaching. It helps me understand to put things in those kinds of terms.

    It is obvious to me that many here on this blog have studied this stuff in an academic environment and have libraries filled with thick books of theology. Although I have studied the Bible carefully, I’m more a product of the sermons I’ve attended.

    There are many reasons people go to church. I have several, from the fellowship to the worship to the educational experience I get from the sermons. I like to take notes and appreciate when a pastor puts a verse into context and explains the ancient language and how it fit the times when it was written, as well as how we should apply it today.

    So here’s a perspective on different churches by way of analogy. These are not original ideas. I heard these things in various sermons. It’s a good parable and it helps me understand what I think the church ought to be. This is the analogy of ships. The question is, what ship is your church?

    Is your church an Ocean Liner. That’s a Cruise Ship. There’s lots of staff to make sure that everyone aboard has a good and rewarding time. There’s coffee and other drinks and maybe even some food on regular occasions. There’s entertaining music and possibly some dancing. If there’s any dirty laundry, well don’t worry about that. The crew will take care of any soiled articles in the ships laundry out of sight and out of mind of the passengers. Everyone is aboard for a good old time and enjoying the scenery and the company. Often these ships are very large and have a famous captain. It’s a fun cruise and everyone is supposed to have a good time.

    The second type of church or ship is the battleship or destroyer. They’re heavily armed and ready to blow anyone out of the water that doesn’t fit their opinion of “ship shape.” The crew isn’t on a voyage for enjoyment. This is war. The dress is very utilitarian and the daily orders are obeyed without questions. If you don’t fit into their regulations, then it’s over the side with you. People on this kind of ship don’t laugh a lot.

    The third ship is like the U.S.S. Constitution. It’s perfectly preserved, but just sits at the dock for tours. It doesn’t go to sea. It last performed during the war of 1812, and now it sits as an example of just how well a ship was made in those old days of rope and wooden decks. People like to visit this ship and talk about how great things were in the good old days. But no real sailing, just a museum of sailing. It’s hard work keeping something old in good shape. Takes a lot of spit and polish and the way the tourists are appreciative makes it worth the effort. It’s expensive keeping the old girl in top shape, so everyone has to pay their share. After all, they really knew how to build ships in those good old days.

    Finally is the lifeboat. That’s a ship meant to save lives. It can be big or small, but the focus is always on those in the water that need to be rescued. And it’s all hands to the mission of saving those that are lost at sea. Every member of the ships company has a role and is there, reaching out to those that are drowning and tossing a life ring to those in need of help. Hands reach out to pull castaways on board and pluck souls from the water.

    If I dare mix the metaphor, the recent news was filled with a story of rescue off Antarctica and, besides ships, there were helicopters landing and plucking people to salvation. Think of the joy of those that are saved. Think of the joy of those that helped in the rescue.

    So, as the sermon goes, what kind of ship is your church? As Michael would say, make our own application.

  8. Nonnie says:

    Brian, praying for you today.

  9. Since I can’t comment on the new prayer thread, I just want to say that both Puritan prayers from this week and last just help me to zero in to right where I am in my walk with the Lord. Thank you for posting these, Michael.

    Also, I have a prayer request. I am at a three-pronged fork in the road with regard to future employment and ministry opportunities. I’ve never been very good at “stepping out in faith,” so this scares me to death. My default mode is to put off making a decision, and just wait until the opportunities pass me by. But I’m tired of being stuck in a rut, and I believe that my discontent may actually be the Spirit’s prompting for me to get off my butt, quit complaining, and move into what He is preparing for me. But there’s always that voice in the back of my head that says, “You’re an idiot; who are you to think that blah, blah, blah… All that to say, please pray for wisdom and boldness. Thanks friends.

  10. covered says:

    CK, you are a wise man. Count on my prayers. Getting out of the boat can be a difficult thing. I like that you realize that He is preparing you for something.

  11. Nonnie says:

    Aye Aye, Capt. K! Praying for you.

  12. Bob Sweat says:

    Praying Capt. Bless you!

  13. Michael says:

    I fixed the prayer thread.
    My apologies CK!

  14. Captain Kevin,

    Listen to your wife. Often times wives can see the obvious when we can’t. Helpmate help…I trust you will follow the peace of Jesus, let the peace of Jesus decide all things and recall the old adage, “When in doubt, don’t.” I am sure you will do well no matter which direction you go, your a fine man and have always been a pleasure to read.

    J.U.

    I suspect that you downplay who you truly are here. You shared a powerful post way beyond some of the hollow fancy wordplay you describe that has appeared here now and then. Interesting that the gospel records never have Jesus relating to people on that fancy word play level. For no particular reason what you shared reminded me of these whimsical pictures I once saw:
    http://tinyurl.com/krwn329
    Thanks for boarding this PP vessel, welcome aboard! Hope to see more posting from you if this post is any indication of what one can expect to come from your direction. I enjoyed reading your post!

    Brian,
    May you enjoy good health from the hand of Jesus. I just know that He does love you and that one day you will most certainly be standing in His presence completely whole in perfection. Until that moment may you be blessed with comfort and peace to endure. You are loved and appreciated.

    Xenia,

    Dang, my Sunday morning coffee is so shallow and silent, refusing to talk to me. I guess it doesn’t like my “I Love New York” coffee mug…I almost poured it into my “Lahina Yacht Club” mug. http://tinyurl.com/otez7f9

  15. PP Vet says:

    Nice ship metaphor by JU.

    PP is a pirate ship with an infirmary.

    Hollow fancy wordplay, huh?

    It just so happens that “Addressing narcissism in Christian leadership with hollow fancy wordplay” is what we do here.

  16. Captain Kevin says:

    Thanks friends!

  17. Neo says:

    Open Blogging. I’ve been hanging around this online community for 8 years or more. In a moment of reflection, I remember feeling as though I was stuck in a situation that was hopeless. It had all of the elements: religion, disappointment, disillusionment, and

  18. Neo says:

    Selah 🙂

  19. Praying for Brian and the Captain.

  20. Michael says:

    Neo,

    You’ve been here a long time…and probably would have more to teach us than almost anybody here if you ever chose to speak…

  21. Neo says:

    …all those special ingredients that go into experiencing a fringe like, cult-ish religious environment. I was both had by that experience and regretfully played my part as I look back, yet, I can say sincerely I just didn’t know any better. Think: Truman Show, lol.

    Anyway, it was at a particularly “messed up” moment in my life that I felt I had no voice, not that I was aware of anyway. Nowhere to raise objection or posit speculation. Then, I stumbled upon this site when it was brought to my attention “we” we’re being focused on by the Phoenix Preacher. So, feeling vindictive toward the naysayer, I logged on and came both barrels blazing lol. But what I found was that this forum was the “Wild West” of the internet (crazy times) yet it provided me a voice. Anyone a voice. Free to question, confirm, debate, speculate, and object.

    Since then, The Lord in His mercy has made a way when there seemed to be no way for me. Literally overnight, events transpired 7 years ago and I have to say they have been by far the most peaceful years of my life. The more distance I put between myself and the “beast”, so to speak, the more I see just how dominated people are/were in that particular form of Religious Babylon. Needless to say, I still have much to learn on my own journey.

    But via Open Blogging, I reflect upon the feeling of finally having a voice when I thought I had none, thanks to the Phoenix Preacher. And I wonder how many folks over the years have felt the same.

    So here’s to you, Pastor Newnham, for granting us our Spiritual First Amendment rights. For giving people like me just enough light to get through the hallway until we land on our feet again.

    And here’s to hoping more crazy times ahead. 🙂

    PS: sorry about the break, it’s tough to stay focused with a certain Peyton Manning doing his thing.

  22. Michael says:

    Neo,

    That meant more to me than you will ever have any idea…thank you.

  23. Neo says:

    Lol regarding #22.

    I don’t have much to teach anymore. Just a lot to be thankful for.

  24. Neo says:

    Okay, good. I’m glad for that.

  25. Captain Kevin says:

    Neo! 🙂

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