Things I Think

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41 Responses

  1. Ms. ODM says:

    I agree

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I remember the days when Lon Simmons was the backup announcer for Russ Hodges – so he does go way back. A loss got Giants fans.

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    #9 – hmmm, they must have served communion 😉

  4. Paul A. Lytton says:

    For a very long time I have read debates over religious particulars being questioned from opposing sides having honest doubts of the other’s integrity. It appears to boil down to which side can more cleverly utilize words to convince others to support their own belief while realizing that there is no single foundation that will support more than one building regardless of the vast likeness of the buildings.

    Bottom line being that comparing apples to apples, there are many different types of apples. Even if they are all the same type of apples, each is an individual living structure making it totally different than all the others. Being either an apple or a person the only thing that all have in common is that each is different than the rest.

    My point is to address why people feel a need to be viewed as being correct by others? Why does it matter what others think you are right or wrong about other than maintaining a societal coexistence and having a sense of self approval verification.

    In reality what is good for me may not be good for you and vise versa. We have two ways of determining what is truly “good” and what is truly “bad”. #1.) By what is acceptable by the majority of other people and #2.) By what is acceptable by the god of our choice.

    We have laws that address #1; and religions that address #2, but neither give a sure answer as to what is right and what is wrong and acceptable by all. So where does the “real” answer lie? Obviously it lies on the authority figure having the ability to either punish or reward you based on that authority figures determination.

    Also to the best of my knowledge there is not anything that exists that does not have an equal opposite. That is (in my opinion) the core of why people disagree in general. If there were no opposites there would be no arguments. There would be no reason to consider one persons right to be another persons wrong because there would be no right and no wrong.

    There is a new age movement that proclaims that there is no right and no wrong and they believe that whatever you think is right is right, but they fail in their belief because not all people think the same way and we are back to whatever is right for you can be wrong for me.

    Imagine with me if you can of a world where opposites do not exist. Could anything exist since all things that do exist have an opposite? Not really. That brings this to a new level. The level of is there nothing or is there something, which directs us back to opposites and right and wrong. Is there no real answer? There must be an answer to a honest question.

    Maybe there is no answer to an honest question of what is right and what is wrong, is there no middle ground to opposites; and what is the middle ground of something and nothing? Why does anything have to have an answer within a dimension outside of its own existence just so that, the other dimension can understand it? Obviously it doesn’t. People just argue their own belief instead of realizing the truth that there is no answer. Peoplee are more interested in being correct according to others than they are of having knowledge of truth. They tend to pretend that they know the truth because they can rest assured no one can prove them wrong. They are realize failure to prove them wrong makes them right in their own mind. After all, being right in their own mind is the primary objective goal trying to be reached anyway.

    I personally refuse to submit to this conclusion. I would rather admit that I do not know, than to act as if it does not matter. What is right and what is real to you is your God. Do you have a God outside your own source or are you your own God? Or do you not believe in God at all? Can it be that God is the true middle ground of right and wrong, good and bad and all other opposites?

    He fit’s the prospective of not being understood and being in a dimension beyond our knowledge. He also fit’s the answer of there being a supreme reality in control of everything. Genesis 1 “In the beginning God created heaven and earth….,” “God divided light from darkness….,” Let there be firmament in the mist of the waters…” Is this not the original beginning of opposites?

    If you think you know God and what He wants, knock yourself out. The only answer which I believe or even need is, “In the beginning God…” Not only is He the best answer I have ever heard, He is the only answer I have ever heard. My personal answer to all of the previous questions is simply, “I know that God knows; and I don’t”.

  5. Jim says:

    “most of walking with God is realizing who you already are in Him.”

    !

  6. Paige says:

    Michael…. Appallingly, I didn’t know anything about Lon…. Yes, we have entered that season of life in which our peers and near and dears are passing on….. a daily sobering reminder of our own fragility.

    The armor and fighting principalities…. we do forget, thus,freqent sermon reminders of these truths would be helpful, instead of the usual beating of the Drum of ‘Holiness”…. and beating of the sheep who are failing at ‘holiness’, even if they’re not.

    I totally agree about the results of church abuse… Quite the antithesis of producing the fruit of the Spirit….producing Hope of Grace. I’ve quit going to church out of fear of being beaten into hopelessness.

    I was SO grateful for Daniel’s messages yesterday. Grace is life transforming.

  7. Kevin H says:

    The Phillies lost Harry Kalas back in 2009. I still feel his loss, especially on Opening Day. No matter how bad the outlook may have looked for the Phillies leading into the season, at least I could always look forward to hearing Harry’s voice once again. Boy, do the Phillies need Harry Kalas right now.

  8. Xenia says:

    We haven’t had Easter yet and tomorrow is the Feast of the Annunciation.

    We have at least one church service every day this week.

    Great and Holy Saturday, which I touched on in another thread, is probably the most amazing service of the whole year. There is over an hour of non-stop Scripture reading where the OT prophecies about the Lord are read, including large portions of Genesis, Isaiah, and the whole book of Jonah. People take turns reading aloud.

    All the church vestments are black; there are no flowers, all the people are dressed in black, the Lord has been crucified. The hymns are gloomy.

    Then at one point in the service, the moment depicted on the icon of the Resurrection where Christ has busted open the gates of Hades and has rescued the captives, the whole mood changes. The music becomes triumphant, the vestments (altars cloths, clergy vestments) are changed from black to white and there is rejoicing! This is really the high point of the passion of Christ. In some churches the clergy come out with baskets of rose petals and bay leaves and toss them joyfully on the heads of the people.

    That night at midnight we celebrate His Resurrection, the “proof” of the pudding, you might say.

  9. #5 — not to mention regular maintenance and service.

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “All the church vestments are black; there are no flowers, all the people are dressed in black, the Lord has been crucified. The hymns are gloomy.”

    Our Good Friday and Saturday Vigil are similar (the pastors dress in black vestments, some people do but not all)- and the altar is stripped.

  11. Xenia says:

    MLD, my sister converted to LCMS Lutheranism maybe ten years ago and I remember her description of her first Good Friday service. She had never experienced anything like it.

  12. Paige says:

    We attended a Lutheran Service of Darkness….. 4 chapters of Mark’s Gospel…. half the audience was asleep….. then, the deacon did a “devotion’ lambasting us all as he pounded a hammer on an anvil telling us that every time we don’t love God or love others, we are pounding the nails in Jesus’ hands again. Sigh. Won’t go there again.

    Conversely, the online message from Crossroads was full of hope for losers like me.

  13. from https://phoenixpreacher.com/?p=21179

    “3. If we fight not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities, why do we spend so much time tearing the hide off of each other?”

    see https://phoenixpreacher.com/?p=21162#comment-163881

    “These arguments are pointless and annoying.
    No one is going to be debated into another position.

    Time to move on…nothing positive ever comes from this.”

  14. Charles says:

    What an interesting concept. I will have to remember this next year.

    http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Good-Friday_-Service-of-Darkness-JesusWordsFromTheCross.html

  15. pjksings says:

    I think I can relate a little. When Chuck Hearn passed away, I missed his voice watching lakers games. His voice and Vin Scully’s are part of the soundtrack of my life growing up in Santa Barbara. And yes, transistor radios were also part of that childhood. I laugh now because when I’m outside pulling weeds I often turn on music on my phone and stick it in my pocket or close by where I can hear it – just like we did with our trusty little radios

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Paige, if what you heard on Good Friday was in anyway similar to what Charles posted in his link (the same message with the same sound effects) – then you missed a great 4 min presentation of the law & the gospel.
    He first identified the problem and then offered the solution. If you haven’t listen to the 4 min devotion on Charles’ link please do so.

    The issue, at least to me are those churches that refuse to let the law enter today’s church.

    BTW, about people falling asleep in church, I take great joy in seeing that these folks have finally found a place in their life to get rest – some people live lives of total strife. I learned that from my pastor when I asked him once how he responds to people falling asleep during his sermon.

  17. Em says:

    “BTW, about people falling asleep in church, I take great joy in seeing that these folks have finally found a place in their life to get rest – some people live lives of total strife. I learned that from my pastor when I asked him once how he responds to people falling asleep during his sermon.”

    grace or optimism? not sure, but still a lovely attitude

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    6.) “I also note that if you’re in Christ, you have the armor already on…most of walking with God is realizing who you already are in Him.”

    A Lutheran would call this living in your justification.

  19. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think it is time for the first pitch 🙂

  20. Em says:

    “…..most of walking with God is realizing who you already are in Him.”

    “A Lutheran would call this living in your justification.”

    if we are justified by faith, then did the O.T. saints realize who they were in Him? i don’t think so… they submitted, they realized – perhaps more than we do today – who God was/is and who they were – or were not

    so much to ponder

  21. Paige says:

    MLD, I’ve been to four other Service of Darkness experiences before. Previous ones were better, not condemning.

    I love the concept.

    Frankly, the conservative Presbyterian small church ones were ‘best’…. They did the 14 candles, Passion scripture readings, candle extinguishings, mournful Celtic-like hymns….then, total dark & silent as we left, with no condemnation.
    Should have gone there again. 🙂 Next year.

    Last year, we went to the Lutheran Missouri Synod service too, and it was ‘ok’…. several close friends attend that church. This year’s service confirmed to us that we don’t like it. 🙂

  22. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Paige, don’t feel bad – other than my kids, I have never invited anyone to my church. I invite people to my theology but never my church 😉

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “then did the O.T. saints realize who they were in Him?”

    A whole different thing going on in the OT … that’s what brought on a NT.

  24. Em says:

    “I think it is time for the first pitch”

    there’s only one real way to enjoy baseball… turn back the clock to BTV… on a summer day in So. Calif. someone working on their car with radio on – the ‘only’ teams were the Yankees and the Dodgers (NY) … and i guess the Red Sox – who was that fellow with the southern drawl who called the games back then? that is the way i remember summer as a kid, playing outdoors barefoot, with the game broadcasting to the whole immediate neighborhood on that car radio
    back then teachers would stop classwork so that we could all hear the World Series

    barefoot = stubbed toes… do kids ever stub their toes anymore?

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em,
    I am a Dodgers fan and i am listening on Sirius XM.

    My 39 yr old son and his wife, have dumped their 3 kids on us for the past 4 days as they went to Seattle Friday for today’s Angels v Mariners opening game

  26. Em says:

    MLD… you’re listening to the radio at work? 😯 enjoy the season

  27. Muff Potter says:

    5. I note that when we’re told to put on the armor of God, there is no place mentioned where we ever remove it…

    You sure about that Michael?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eiwb67-TMd0

    I look forward to a time when
    “I ain’t goan’ study war no mo’…”

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em, I would watch it here at work on TV if we had Time Warner – but we are blacked out even in Dodgers land. I have 3 big screens here in the office.:-)

  29. JoelG says:

    “….most of walking with God is realizing who you already are in Him.”

    Ain’t this the truth

  30. Xenia says:

    Em, my happy baseball memories are similar to yours.

    My parents working in the garden in rural Ohio, the cheap transistor radio playing some game involving the Cleveland Indians, and me feeding kitchen scraps to the chickens.

  31. Scott says:

    Heck, for only $19.95 all MLB games are available online for the whole season.

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Scott – not the in market games. Dodgers home games are not available.

  33. Scott says:

    “Scott – not the in market games. Dodgers home games are not available.”

    Maybe not t.v., but the audio is available…

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I get the audio on Sirius XM – and I have the MLB TV for at least the road games 🙂

  35. Kevin H says:

    MLD – You’re welcome for Jimmy Rollins. 🙂

  36. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    The Kalas/Simmons comparison is right on…Simmons was a great football voice for the Niners as well.

  37. pstrmike says:

    “This morning, pastors all over the country are trying to assess the “success’ of yesterdays services. If you faithfully preached the risen Christ call it good…”

    Easter has long since been a Sunday where the church tries to up their game. It makes sense in some respects, although my early memories of Easter was all about telling the story of the resurrection.

    I’ve seen a lot of victory laps today on social media and blogs from some of my peers in the ministry. I can only hope that they are victory laps to glorify God; some of them look like it, others do not. We all want God’s endorsement, it gives us greater credibility and separates us from the pack.

  38. KevinH
    “MLD – You’re welcome for Jimmy Rollins.”

    I greatly appreciate the gift 😉

  39. Xenia says:

    For an Orthodox priest, the day after Easter he just thanks the Lord that he managed to live through the past week!

  40. Surfer51 says:

    You bring up some great points as always Michael.

    “3. If we fight not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities, why do we spend so much time tearing the hide off of each other?”

    And Shepherds are sometimes sadly included in that statement:
    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2015/04/real-shepherds-do-not-beat-sheep.html

    “7. We expect behavior problems when children are abused in a home…when God’s children are abused in His house, expect the same…”

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