Things I Think

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36 Responses

  1. Reuben says:

    4 – LOL!!!

    I remember the endless debates you wound up in back in the good old days.

    1 – I am an expert at commercial and industrial HVACR, and whiskey.

  2. Michael says:


    I wish I had a lot of that time back.
    I will affirm your expertise in those areas… 🙂

  3. JoelG says:

    I’m afraid I will always struggle with doubts and fears. It’s in my make up. Thank you for the hope of #10.

    Thank you for sharing these helpful thoughts.

  4. Michael says:


    I struggle too…we all carry a lot of baggage around.
    We’ll be able to drop it off when we get home…

  5. em ... again says:

    there are only a couple things that you think that i disagree with…
    how did you get so wise? 🙂

  6. Jean says:


    I am encouraged by the tenacity with which the press is pursuing the story of Russia’s interference in the election. Due to rampant partisanship in Congress and the attempts to undermine, delegitimize and intimidate the press, we IMO need a strong press to continue its investigative function to bring the truth to light.

    Even though, the press itself is not immune from bias, any fake news will be discredited by lack of evidence and true news will be credited by evidence, so I am fairly hopeful that the truth will emerge. And I think it will be due to the tenacity of the press.

  7. Xenia says:

    1.”Having equal rights does not mean having equal talents, equal abilities, or equal knowledge (…) we are witnessing the death of expertise… or more succinctly, the death of accepting expertise.

    Yet they all go to a “real” doctor when they have appendicitis or to a “real” mechanic when they need their transmissions overhauled.

    Physical repairs require real expertise, I guess, whereas things of the mind or soul, Google is good enough.

    2. “Billy Graham rule” to protect his marriage.

    Yet they don’t get upset if a Muslim woman dresses modestly to protect her chastity. Anything remotely Christian is a target of derision nowadays.

    3. I cannot overstate the value of wise and godly mentors. Everyone should have one until they can be one…

    Amen! I got to spend some time with my own godly mentor last night. We had a special Unction service at our parish which requires the presence of a Bishop. My mentor is the director of the Orthodox Institute I am a part of. I thought when he was elevated to the rank of Bishop I’d never see him again but as it has turned out, he takes being a Bishop seriously and visits all his parishes regularly, including our little Church. He gave a talk on repentance that was medicine to my soul.

    4. stating that I’m now an Anglican….

    This is music to my ears. 🙂

    5. The Bible is actually a narrative, a story if you will. Parsing individual words in a long story will illuminate the word, but often distort the story…

    Absolutely true and is one of the reasons I find certain types of vs by vs teaching problematic. Too much emphasis on the meanings of individual words, not enough emphasis on the Big Picture.

    6. Opening Day of the baseball season has always been the first day of the New Year to me…

    Baseball…. ah, here’s something I can say about baseball. I remember as a little child working in the garden with my parents in rural Ohio and they had the Cleveland Indians games playing on the transistor radio. Happy memories. 🙂

    7. If you do not honestly confront your doubts and fears, your doubts and fears will confront you without ceasing…

    That’s for sure. Last night’s Unction service was for “the healing of soul and body.” It’s like the Last Rites for a sick or dying individual, but modified for a congregation approaching the end of Lent. Vladyka Irenei said “THIS REALLY WILL WORK.” The results may not be what you are hoping for, but they will be the results God wants you to have.

    8. Partisan politics now carries all the fervor of religious affiliation minus anything that smacks of love or grace…

    I can’t even watch the news anymore. I am fed up with all sides.

    9. The traditional place of both the church and the media were to speak truth to power…both flirt with irrelevance when they won’t.

    As we have seen. You will have to compromise somewhere.

    10. I’m very grateful this morning that my perseverance in the faith is not dependent on my own efforts…


  8. Josh the Baptist says:

    1. The internet has ruined us. Why actually spend the time learning something when I can just google it instead? Plus, I also have a platform for my uninformed opinion, and I must broadcast my every thought 24-7. Andy Warhol was a prophet.

    2. I am a Pence fan. I’m sure I disagree with a lot of his politics, but as far as what a Christian in public office should look like? He appears to be pretty close.

    3. Always seek mentors. Doesn’t have to be formal. Just get around someone and learn from them consistently over time. Also, don’t chase “successful” mentors who might teach you how to do what they did. Just look for old ones. Value age, experience, and wisdom. You want to know how to have a successful marriage? Find the 80 year old couple who has been married 60 years, not the young hotshot pastor who just wrote a marriage book.

    4. Welcome to my debate with Calvinism for the last 20 years. Calvinists have always called me Arminian, Arminians have always called me Calvinist. What both sides really is “hellbound.”

    5. Disagree. While we should never lose the overarching story, the individual words are of utmost importance. Of course, many people who talk a lot about the individual words are not trained in any languages and do distort the meaning to their own bias. But, for one who is willing to do the work, the study of the individual words is vital.

    6. What ball? Is this another term for the NBA?

    Agreed on 7-10.

    Thanks for another Things I think!

  9. Victor says:

    Long time lurker here from the Calvary ABQ Pete Nelson days. It’s been years that I’ve posted anything. Michael, I’ve come to respect many of the things you speak and have posted over the years. I’ve only known you to be a Calvinist and was surprised to read here that you’re now Anglican. Is there a previous post you can point me to on why that happened? Or if not, a new post, when you have time and energy? I don’t ask so I can critique. Just curious, as I’ve also looked in to Orthodox Christianity in recent years. Thank you.

  10. Steve Wright says:

    #1 – That has been a big argument of mine for awhile. If you offer a layman’s opinion on things related to the law or some other topic, you are often met with the rebuttal “you are not a lawyer” – Yet, everyone apparently is a theologian and all views on God and/or spiritual matters are supposedly equal. It is ludicrous.

    #2 – Truly we live in a world who substitute bitter for sweet when we are chastised for any concern over the President of the United States having oral sex with an intern that could be his daughter while in the Office, justifying his lies over what we were lectured is “purely a private matter between him and his wife” and “none of our business”, while public criticism of a faithful marriage is seen as perfectly acceptable by partisan political opposition.

    Let me say it is encouraging to me to see Christians like Michael and Josh that DO disagree with Pence’s politics that note the madness of our world criticizing Pence and his marriage.

    #5 – In my opinion, one of the clearest theologies for showing the ongoing narrative of Scripture is through the hermeneutic of dispensationalism.

    That said, God gave us His revelation through words. The words are important indeed, though I see Michael’s larger point.

    Frankly, I’ve heard more than a few messages where someone, trying to show off, makes a big deal about a word that is perfectly translated and obvious, in the English, and frankly not that significant to the passage as a whole.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    #6 is the only important item – Play Ball! and Go Blue! are as good as scriptures in my ears.

    That reminds me – I think I need to extend my MLB.TV subscription since I don’t have cable.

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It looks like Clayton Kershaw will make $33 million for the year.
    The San Diego Padres active roster will make $30 million this year.

    My analysis – Kershaw is well worth it – the Padres? Not so much.

  13. Dan from Georgia says:

    Twins fan here…



  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    I wanted to post comment #666 (ha!) at the The Wartburg Watch website about Mike Pence personal choices, but my comment wouldn’t have been constructive at all. Didn’t want to waste my time.

    RE: fear, I have recently started a confrontation with one of my (illogical) fears. One that has been keeping me down in a few areas of my life for a LONG time. They really do nag at you.

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    No. 1 – Expertise is good, vital and important, but only when that expertise is shared with love and grace. I’ve probably been in the academic world a bit more than some and I’ve seen expertise used as a hammer to bludgeon and humiliate.

    No. 2 – I live in Indiana so… I’ll say nothing about Mike Pence…

    No. 5 – Narrative… a thousand times yes. Word studies can be fascinating in and of themselves, but Scripture arose from an oral tradition. Narrative and story lie at the heart of Scripture. If we don’t get that, no hermeneutical scheme will allow us to make sense of it all.

  16. Michael says:


    Welcome back…I’ll write something up on this pretty soon.

  17. Kevin H says:


    So in moving in identity from Calvinism to Anglicanism, does this mean you haven’t Stayed the Course?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. 🙂

  18. Steve Wright says:

    As to the media “speaking truth to power” – here are my thoughts.

    First, with the technology we have today, anyone with a smart phone to video something, and a blog or social media account to write could be considered “media” – and to that we need to check ourselves sometimes. For example, a couple people were arrested for vandalizing and they claimed the police were persecuting “the media” when these people were, at best, described as above.

    However, the media itself has always been powerful – and so who speaks truth to it? Does anyone doubt the power that Walter Cronkite had during the Vietnam War?

    Thus, I am grateful for an alternative media, serious about seeking out and reporting the truth (as opposed to just throwing a bunch of rumors on the wall and hoping one or two might stick). More importantly, I am grateful for the alternative media that speaks the truth to the power of the mainstream media.

    The spirit of this blog, I believe, has been in line with this idea. Michael has been chastised for the things he has reported, then later we almost always find out they turn out to be true. (And he has issued a retraction on occasion when warranted).

    The Monica Lewinsky story broke, not because Drudge reported it, but Drudge reported that Newsweek knew about it and was sitting on the story so as to not damage the President.

    Likewise, I remember clearly the day that I watched online for hours as the internet took apart the phony National Guard story and faked memo the day after Dan Rather and 60 Minutes pushed this story just weeks before the 2004 election in hopes of affecting the result. Thanks to the internet, experts in a variety of fields, from the National Guard to Microsoft Word fonts, were chiming in to make a case against the 60 Minutes story (on 2 key blogs, Powerline and Little Green Footballs). Dan Rather was forever disgraced and 60 Minutes issued a formal apology.

    Now we have a guy, presented on 60 Minutes a week ago as a textbook example of “fake news” who cites Susan Rice as the person responsible for unmasking American citizen’s names for purely political purposes. He is laughed at for a week, dismissed, except he was right and today, Bloomberg News reports indeed, Susan Rice (she of the lie about the Benghazi attack and blaming it on the youtube video) is the party responsible.

    Yes, there is a lot of wheat from the chaff that needs separation. But there are real alternative media sources, and they may be “only bloggers” but they are not sitting in pajamas in their parents’ basement but have a network of sources and a readership that grows larger each year, even as the NY Times or NBC News continues to shrink.

  19. Rob says:

    I worked in ministry for many years. There were times the Billy Graham rule was not practical.

    Often I had to be out of the office with a member of the opposite sex, but my staff always knew where I was, when I’d be back, etc.

    I’m pretty sure with Pence surrounded by staff, secret service, etc., at all times, he could probably avoid falling into hanky-panky over a business lunch.

  20. Babylon's Dread says:

    In theology the internet has many pseudo theologians that prey on people’s emotions, assumptions and poor thinking. Exegesis has given way to pscyhogesis. If you wouldn’t act in a certain way then God surely wouldn’t. These enlightened ones are endlessly trolling the faithful for unwary and unlearned ones who will become social media groupies.

    Face to face encounters show you how quickly their ideas fall into nothing. But they deconstruct everything … authority belongs to the persuasive. Popery abounds.

  21. Steve Wright says:

    Let’s be clear what prompted the Pence kerfuffle. A brief sentence in a lengthy article on the wife of the VP

    “In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”

    I’ve been in ministry for years too, and if someone can tell me when either of these two, narrow, things would be required of a minister of Jesus Christ, I am all ears. This is not about having a business meeting with someone of the opposite sex.

    And I do not have the slightest doubt that BOTH are in the lives of the Pences to protect the Pences from false accusations and political scandal that would put Pence in a he-said, she-said situation. Not because Pence is going to jump the bones of any female he is alone with or drink the bar dry if he has a chance.

    I’ve been falsely accused by someone with a large listening audience. All in an attempt to destroy my ministry and reputation, as well as get me fired despite having a family to feed and house. Oh yeah, of course the accusations were “in Jesus Name” too

    So I have been in the place where every email I made sure to copy multiple witnesses. (Which of course was chastised as unChristian). Where I refused to answer personal phone calls because witnesses would not be available.

    I will never begrudge anyone’s “rules” for protecting their reputation and that of their family.

  22. Babylon's Dread says:

    The Pence flap shows you how pervasive the PC police are and how they have replaced fundamentalism as the legalists of society. Putting someone in hell never loses popularity even when it changes garments.

  23. Victor says:

    Thank you Michael!

  24. Dickie says:

    Shame that all the CC pastors who’ve stepped into the cowpie of adultery weren’t as wise as Pence.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is what I think – Dodgers have 9 runs in the first 4 innings. 🙂

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Baseball is the great equalizer – it is where Steve Wright and I are on the same side and it is the only topic Reuben will discuss with me, as he anticipates his Rockies beating my Dodgers.

  27. Bob Sweat says:

    As I always say, the Dodgers are the best team money can buy, but all that money hasn’t translated into a World Series. Bleed that Dodger Blue!!!

  28. Steve Wright says:

    The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since we gave up our season tickets back in the day….

    Just sayin’ 🙂

  29. filbertz says:

    Michael, has hockey been replaced by baseball as calvinism was eclipsed by angicanism?

    just wondering…

  30. Michael says:

    I prefer hockey and am still Calvinistic…it just doesn’t fit as an identity marker anymore. It makes people think you’re mean… 🙂

  31. dusty says:

    I don’t think you are mean Michael.

  32. dusty says:

    Still praying for you filbertz.

  33. dusty says:

    Still braying for you big brother

  34. dusty says:

    And still praying for you reuben

  35. Michael says:

    Thanks, Dusty!

  36. dusty says:

    Still praying for you big brother!

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