Thursday, August 31, 2006

Essay on Communion

"I think the thing that strikes me the most is looking at the hands of the people as I put the host into their palm." David wrote this in an great essay on communion here

I hadn't thought of looking at people's hands during communion, but it is right to do so. We are the hands of Christ on earth. It reminds me of a hymn that has a line, "we the hands, we the feet." I can't find that music right now. There is also a hymn by Robin Mann, words by Norman Habel, called "Hand in Hand (1997)." The last verse is:

When I consider God's own church.
sinful sort of saintly band,
I hold my breath, but even more
I stand in awe
when sinners come to share God's meal
hand in hand, hand in hand.
Sinners come to share God's meal,
hand in hand.

Saved by a clean house?

...your house is a mess because you're saved by Grace, not by works.

I added the Old Lutheran thing to my blog awhile back. Sometimes the auto-postings are interesting historical tidbits about Martin Luther. Sometimes they are theological. Sometimes they are meant to be funny but I think they are shallow humor.

The one above, from today, strikes me a little differently. I read an article in a Christian women's magazine about nit-picky housekeepers. The article suggested that a woman might be overly focused on cleaning because she never feels good enough. And if she never feels good enough, would she feel good enough for God's grace? If she didn't feel good enough for God's grace, would she ever feel accepted, loved by God? Would she ever know that she is forgiven for the past, present, and future?

I find these questions interesting. Certainly God can save somebody who believes in Jesus but doesn't really "get it:" that we are saved precisely when we aren't good enough. My favorite verse is Romans 5: 8.

But how much more free and thankful we can feel when we do understand that it is precisely because we can never BE good enough on our own that God sent Jesus to do this "housework" for us. We can't dust our way into God's grace, but we can relax and trust our way into His kingdom.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do you "JUST" pray?

After reading THIS you might think about chosing your words more carefully.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Catching Up

The burning question of the day: Do I read the 83 (supposedly) new blog postings that Bloglines says have come in since the last time I checked it or do I just go through and trick it into thinking I've opened all these sites?
I think real life is going to win out today, as it did for the last week while I missed these posts. Face to face family time for the last week was wonderful. Today is for cleaning and laundry, etc.
Plus the weather is beautiful. The short term effect of a continuing drought is bright, sunny weather.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


stolen saying:

Faith Needs Doubt Like Children Need Love

Friday, August 18, 2006

conversion of another type

I am converting from one old computer to a better old computer. Dang, the same programs don't look the same on the screen. My favorites/bookmarks are missing. They are in the computer, but I can't get them into the correct place. The accelerator says it is working, but it is being lazy.
This is when a computer becomes a big time drain.
The situation reminds me of when I've tried to cook a real meal at a rented lake cabin and I have everything I need, but I don't know the stove, the oven, and I have to use pans I'm not used to, so I don't know what heat level to use. Inefficiency, big time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Where hard working Christians can get the degree that will get them the respect they deserve!!!

Lutheran in crowd humor. If there is always a grain of truth in humor, some of this made me wonder. If you are Lutheran, be sure to check out the T shirt links. If you are not Lutheran, it will be either over your head or under your feet.

Sorry if this is old stuff for you.

"We don't fly economy class, so why settle for less at church?"

A serious (you've got to be kidding) article about different "classes" of nursery service in a church. Fundraising idea, anyone?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Summer provisions

Wild plums and domestic peas and beans. Posted by Picasa

Differences of opinions and viewpoints

"Freedom rings wherever opinions clash." Adlai Ewing Stevenson
What a good quote!
I've been steeped in my religious and political mindset most of my adult life, but I'm not so closed minded that I automatically turn away other opinions, politics, worldviews, or ways of viewing or worshiping the One True God. I think there is a distinct difference between being open minded enough to thoughtfully consider other viewpoints and mindlessly accepting or bouncing from one way of thinking to another.
People too easily swayed by whatever comes along may not know WHY they believed what they thought they believed before. People too easily frightened by new ideas may also not have a deep grasp of their current beliefs.
Because of my inherent curiosity and my interest especially in expanding my ways to view and believe in God, I've enjoyed the web and blogs in the last year. I've been especially interested in finding thoughtful discussion of faith issues and worship issues and belief issues that are new to me or different from my background.
And thoughtful discussions do exist. Thank you! I love to read a well written explanation of a viewpoint that differs from my own. I may even be persuaded to a new way of thinking!
Unfortunately, there are religious/faith/denominational opinions that are different than my own, that I would like to learn more about, that are being expressed in ways that exhibit more heat than light. By this I mean the writers use leaps of poor logic, overgeneralizations, words that demean others, demagoguery, and even possible slander, when expressing their concerns. These writers could learn from Luther's explanation to the 8th commandment: We should fear and love God so that we do not deceitfully belie, betray, backbite, or slander our neighbor, but apologize for him, speak well of him, and put the most charitable construction on all that he does.
Is it just my imagination or is it true that people on the so called "right," i.e. conservatives, tend to use more name calling and less explanation, and also tend to be less open to real discussion of issues?
A few of my friends have asked me, "Why do you keep reading that stuff?" Well, because I don't want to be ignorant of other viewpoints. But I'd sure like to hear more intelligent discussion of why some of the newer trends in American Christian worship, for example, are so disliked by some commentators.
For those people who equate Christianity with the American Way, Let freedom ring in the sense that Stevenson proclaims.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bible Humor, maybe

Is this funny or not?

Ed. note: GAG!

Have you seen what some Christians are saying about Billy Graham?

I've been running across references to Billy Graham and some very strongly opinions against some things he has said. This article sums up the anti-Graham viewpoint. Did any of you read the Newsweek article? How do you react to what Graham said and how people are interpreting it?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

You can't take it with you......

We've all heard this phrase. I thought it just referred to death and our belongings. I've been through some experiences in the past three weeks that has made me aware of other aspects of this thought.
You can't take it with you to the nursing home, either.
Suddenly, a person is reduced to having access to a few personal items (in three dresser drawers) and several changes of clothing in half of the closet, as well as a few pictures of family on the bulletin board.
Thanks to many of you for commenting and writing to me, lifting us up in your prayers.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

back home

I'm finally back home.  More later.