Things I Think…

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48 Responses

  1. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    The key phrase here is “They assumed they knew…” There is ignorance and there is willful ignorance. “They assumed they knew…” is of the latter category. It is sad, but almost to be expected.

    BTW, as you know, no problem here with a rosary or with Mary…

  2. Em says:

    “Ill keep the joy and ” gladly” lose the friends”
    Never assume – never, never assume.
    While I’d never use a string of beads to pray, a prayer list (such as dusty gives us here) can be very valuable.
    HOWEVER, if one of my children gave me a rosary, I’d hang it on the wall and treasure it.
    May God enhance and strengthen your joy, Michael!πŸ™

  3. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Now that the swelling has gone down, it is a sadness I feel…

  4. Linn says:

    Michael,
    I think it’s good to know who your real friends are, even if it hurts sometimes. Many years ago as a missionary a young, bit of an upstart pastor, decided to put this missionary under church discipline because the church was engaging in a practice that I couldn’t participate in. It wasn’t just that I has signed a doctrinal statement with my mission board, but it also didn’t work with my conscience. He was very public about it, I was very polite but I went home and cried buckets. Long story short, he came out looking like a louse after making me go before the elders, and I was “restored.” The whole thing was unnecessary, but Pastor had to have his say. The good thing is that all is forgiven 30 years later, but I still remember how much it hurt. But, if called on the carpet for the same issue today (which I am purposefully not mentioning to avoid a bruhaha), I would still politely reply “no can do.” I think you are very brave and I admire the firm, but polite stand you took on FB.

  5. Michael says:

    Em,

    It is a treasure…

  6. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Thank you…it is sad to me that it comes to this at times…but each must follow their own conscience…

  7. Xenia says:

    I have an Orthodox-style prayer rope, which I definitely should use more often. It’s my strongest weapon against the enemy, visible and invisible, and often lies neglected. On each knot we say “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” We can pray other things too, of course, like “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on So and So” and go down the entire family tree and include church people, neighbors, and PhxPeeps.

    As to the “Catholic” rosary, I like it, too, but it’s a little more complicated.

  8. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I have borrowed those Orthodox prayers as well…

  9. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael….

    I am impressed by the rhetorical and allegorical prowess you wrote with here. Very appropriate for the actions of a few.

    Amazing isn’t it how we can let strangers and acquaintances have so much power over us.

  10. Dan from Georgia says:

    BTW, I have a Catholic friend in MN whom I trust more with spiritual things than some of my Evangelical friends. Evangelicalism isn’t the be-all-end-all of our Faith.

  11. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Thank you…I feel like an incoherent hack these days, so that is encouraging.

    I was feeling a lot of anger until I realized that the positive comments outnumbered the negative by about 10-1… then realized that comments shouldn’t matter at all when someone gives a gift in love.

    I have repented.

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    And I consider myself Evangelical, so that is not a rip on Evangelicalism.

  13. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I’m a big borrower from all the Christian traditions…they enrich me, not deceive me.

  14. pstrmike says:

    I like using my prayer beads, Mary…….. no….. Yes, I understand the concept of the Theotokos. Surely we can disagree even if my disagreement is not steeped in ignorance… I think it actually stems more from my view of tradition, but that’s another discussion for another time.

    My friend who is a retired Episcopalian priest uses an Orthodox prayer rope and carries it with him everywhere he goes. That might fit into my Wranglers better than my beads.

  15. Kevin H says:

    Michael, have I told you that you’re a heretic? πŸ™‚

  16. Joe Marino says:

    I actually did ask what the rosary represented for you as my understanding was based in being raised Roman Catholic. I also stated that you should not be surprised as these same people have joined you on picking apart others, which you did again with your Pope Chuck comment. He who lives by the pointed barb dies by the pointed bard.

  17. CM says:

    Speaking of the Orthodox “Lord have mercy”, one can always have this playing in the background:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DESeq1QY4Vg

    Not trying to trite or offensive, but that is where they got the title and some of the lyrics from.

  18. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    It wasn’t your turn… πŸ™‚

  19. Michael says:

    pstrmike,

    Mary is not a deal breaker either way…we can use what we find edifying and leave what we don’t.

  20. Randy Davis says:

    If any of the abandoned ones were southern baptists, let me remind them of something. Several years ago, NAMB, the home mission entity of the SBC, sent to all the pastors a wrist bead bracelet that had multicolored beads of various sizes to assist them in a directed prayer. On top of the package was a sticker that read, made in China. So, I saw a device made by Chinese Christian prison slaves used by silly, self indulged, hip and cool suburbanites who were not worthy to wash the feet of the Chinese slaves.

    One year they sent a Groucho Marx plastic glasses, the one with a big nose and a mustache. I never knew what that was for. But it represented to me a denomination that had lost the plot. Not to be undone, our state convention sent us and can that contained only air. You can imagine what I thought of that.

    I have nothing against beads, rosary or other if it helps one’s pray life. Lord knows I need help. But do they make them with sharp edges and high tensile strength that could be used as a weapon? The older I get and the more crippled I get, walking across the parking lost at Albertsons is getting more dangerous. Or, it may just be that my paranoia is growing.

  21. Michael says:

    Joe,

    I’m not dying at all…and it’s telling that those who object the most all drink from the same well..

  22. Michael says:

    Randy,

    These are made with high strength paracord…many uses… πŸ™‚

  23. Muff Potter says:

    Hail Mary full of grace
    Blessed are you among women…

    It’s really too bad that hearts full of bigotry insist upon invalidating beauty just because it doesn’t travel their train tracks.

  24. bob1 says:

    I agree with Muff.

    I actually use Anglican prayer beads/rosary (I think the terms are interchangeable)

    I was wondering if Michael had mentioned that on FB, if it would’ve made any difference.
    From what he’s posted, it looks like, “No.”

    I really think the world would be a happier place if instead of just reacting to what someone says, that we’d at least mull it over and and ask questions. It’s the difference between what they call “fast thinking” and “slow thinking.” Sadly, there not as much of the latter anymore.

  25. CM says:

    As an aside, things such as rosaries, prayer beads, etc. are visual reminders to people for their daily prayers, etc. Remember these things were developed centuries ago in societies that for the most part could not read, did not have clocks or timepieces of _any_ type, and so on. I think some of modern evangelicalism’s dim view of these items is that they are looking at those through the lens of their 20th and 21st century internet society. Who needs a prayer bead when you can set a reminder on your Google Calendar and get a text on your smartphone to pray for so-and-so?

  26. Dan from Georgia says:

    Absolutely CM! Many moons ago when I drove into work in downtown Minneapolis, I made it a point to pray for a specific individual everytime I drove trough a particular intersection. Nothing at all wrong with physical reminders to pray.

    If my friend in MN uses a Rosary to pray for me and other and himself, so be it. I’d rather have that then a hastily said β€œI’ll pray for you” and then that person goes on their merry way forgetting to pray.

  27. Nathan Priddis says:

    As a child I never understood the concept of the Altar in front of the pews. Also known in the outside world as a wooden railing.

    Now I think it was also a prayer aid. It gave you something to lean on when you had a Sunday night emotional breakdown. Plus, its like the yellow footprints at boot camp. The Altar let’s you know where to line up.

    From that aspect, the rosary seems more practical. You could just reach in your pocket and meditate or pray, as you go about your regular weekday.

  28. Nathan Priddis says:

    You know, the first prayer aid was the rainbow. I’m obsessed with them and always keeping an eye out.

    A sign of provision in loss. A future when the past is destroyed. A banner of love in the midst of death.

  29. filistine says:

    Michael–your ‘pile’ simply exposed some lingering prejudices against the Catholic church that take the form of any thing thought to be catholic. The prejudice is born not only of ignorance, but arrogance. Thanks for dragging that s#*t into the light.

    NP–I like your rainbow comment.

  30. Owen says:

    Michael,
    I am saddened to hear that, once again, you’ve lost friends because people can’t just stay in their own lane, and therefore caused you hurt.
    I will admit that I, too, used to have misconceptions about the rosary, but you (and my wife) have greatly assisted in my education on this matter.
    I hope you don’t mind, however, that I am greatly entertained by your style of writing in this post. Sometimes all we can do is laugh at the absurdity – and I really do not mean to minimize the pain these “friends” caused.
    The more I think about it, the more I realize that I could use a few prayer reminders myself…..

  31. Dan from Georgia says:

    fil…I agree with you about the anti-Catholic prejudice and bias…seems commonplace among us Evangelicals. I went to a Mass a number of years ago and though I was not allowed to participate in the Eucharist I was touched by the awe and reverence present there. No electric guitars during the Communion song, no witty and shiny multi-media presentation. Just our Lord. I too was anti-Catholic for a long time.

  32. josh hamrick says:

    Come on. There’s a lot more than just “Our Lord” at a Catholic service. Because we stop insulting one tradition, doesn’t mean we have to turn around and insult the other.

  33. Michael says:

    I have maintained for many years that the Lord allows all these different flavors of churches to meet people where they are and how they were created.

    There is good and Gospel in all of them.

    I have my own prejudices that I have to fight daily…and more so lately.

    Owen…always glad to see you here…as well as the rest of you. πŸ™‚

  34. Dan from Georgia says:

    Hey Josh! I can do without some of the extraneous stuff in many Ev churches.

  35. Dan from Georgia says:

    after some kickback here, I guess over time I am morphing into something opposite of what I was 20-30 years ago. If someone finds good in a more upbeat service then yes, I shouldn’t judge. I have my own affections in the faith that others may find puzzling.

  36. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I have a hard time with all things evangelical.
    A real hard time.
    However, I see Josh do his thing every week and I know that his people are blessed and his heart is with God.
    Keeps me from being a total bleep…

  37. josh hamrick says:

    Right Dan, and a guy like me might say he can do without rosaries, incense…extraneous stuff from catholic services.

    God uses different things to use different people, and I am thankful for that.

  38. Dan from Georgia says:

    True Michael. I have always appreciated Josh’s comments here and his heart. I wasn’t trying to insult but I did come across as rather snarky.

  39. filistine says:

    I would caution anyone to avoid following my zig-zag path generally toward the kingdom of God. I’ve learned there is as much residue in one tradition as another. Because I’m so arrogant, I tend to see that in others as well. Humility, I’m rather blind to.

  40. Michael says:

    fil,

    You and me both…

  41. josh hamrick says:

    Dan, I wasn’t offended. You are a good guy. I just try to guard us against that tendency to have to bash one side or the other.

  42. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Josh! Appreciate the kind words. I do have that tendency to bash others and think smugly about where I am at!

  43. josh hamrick says:

    Oh, me too! πŸ™‚

  44. Shawn says:

    I feel your pain when I talk about Ecology or Permaculture. I am treated as if I am New Age, Wiccan, or plain old Pagan tough all I want to do is honor God by attempting to be a good steward of His creation. But no one asks. They just assume.

    If that is not enough when I do not hold to “fully sanctified” vision of making music it is considered not glorifying to God though I fully believe that the inspiration for the music I make, especially lyrically, is an extension of His creativity and compassion through me. But no asks. They just assume because the words Hallelujah, Glory, Water Metaphor (Lol), or Jesus is not in it I might be backsliding.

    Then there is the minefield of theology. I learned that it is better not to talk about endtimes nonsense, amongst other things, because some will assume the worst without asking or thinking for that matter.

    Just like you I initially am bummed out by the loss of friends. Then a flickering flame fueled by the oil of gladness grips my attention back to where it should be. For example, I struggled in sharing music and stories that I have written for over 35 years because of three hurtful comments about my singing and guitar playing. Sometimes it is still all I can hear. What these so called well-meaning critics don’t know is that I am acutely aware of my shortcomings as a singer and musician. Yet, I have found more encouragement and comradarie amongst those who either have abandoned the faith or simply do not believe, than I ever did in the church.

    Yet, that wasn’t the point I was getting at. The precious truth that I am reminded of is that even in their imperfections these songs are ministering the Gospel by relating to real life situations and infusing hope. God reminds that even if no one ever listened to another song I post or reads something I have written that He has already used several of them. In one instance for someone to reconsider suicide while other songs, more directly Christian, have encouraged his battle weary saints in some of the hardest struggles of faith.

    Well, I have an old saying about those who never ask and always assume, “When your head is in your rear, the only thing you see is poop near.” Haters are going to hate. It sucks when we assume they would be different and they are not. As you know better than I do There are plenty of people on the margins, myself included, looking for directions and wanting hope. It is better to focus on guiding them (us) back to Jesus. Keep on!

  45. Em says:

    Guiding to Jesus…. AMEN !

  46. Michael says:

    Shawn,

    Good post.
    One of the things I learned at an early age was that I was an acquired taste, like coffee or scotch whiskey…some will appreciate me and some will really not.
    It’s taken lots of years and bad health to understand that fighting those who don’t like me is pointless…and my energy should go toward those I can help and those I can learn from.

    I’m still learning…

  47. Dan from Georgia says:

    Micheal,

    The last time I tried to interact with an individual on The Christian Post, I was bascially told I wasn’t a believer because I didn’t agree with the person I was trying to interact with. I called them on it, and they weren’t repentant. It was painful and the temptation to lob a few invectives and curses was strongly present. Instead I just took my toys and went home…didn’t talk with them anymore and actually deleted my comments.

    Questioning someone’s standing before God seems to be SO commonplace on blogs like that one. I have only made brief and infrequent visits there in the last few weeks, but I will refuse to interact anymore on blogs where people only behave adversarial to others.

    Reason I bring this up is that, although I am not on Facebook, it’s still hard to interact with virtual strangers and fellow believers and walk away unscathed by unwanted attacks like you experienced. Hard to walk away without fighting back. Part of the sacntification process.

  48. CM says:

    Michael,

    Or you could combine say an Irish Whiskey and coffee, and add some sugar and cream and get the beverage that has all 4 food groups: caffeine, fat, sugar, and alcohol.

    πŸ˜€

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