- New Date-FEB 20
- This Blog is moving!
- Things you see at Christmas: Irony
- Can Mustard Seed-sized Faith move a Mountain…of trash?
- 7 fake TSA -related headlines
- Guess where this Photo was taken
- Tech = Baal (Re: Idol worship)
- DAY 7- Weird Santa Photo Week (Grand Finale)
- Day 6-Weird Santa Photo (STRESSED!)
- DAY 5. Weird Santa Photos Week. Santa’s Creepy Sidekick, Krampus
Category Archives: Life As Prayer update
FYI This is my blog site’s QR code! whoot.
OKAY-It’s possible something was lost in translation on this cosmetic.
Perhaps white or pure was translated as “virginity”. Maybe the English word “virginal” threw off the dictionary. You might have a better guess than me.
This so-called “skin-whitening” soap is supposed to make the skin inviting to touch, so it actually, um. maybe it could end virginity.
But I wonder if the idea of purity, cleansing, and ridding us of our shame is so wrapped up together, that longing for a kind of “virginity soap” isn’t all that big of a stretch.
On some level, doesn’t everyone want a second chance?
Doesn’t everyone want their sin to be “washed away”?
Do you have a memory you wish you didn’t have, or a past sin that plagues you?
Christianity has promised this same thing with “Jesus Soap” for quite a while now. But is it that simple? And, do we co-opt with the renewing power of the Holy Spirit enough to live in a “washed clean” kind of way?
The spiritual discipline of confession works a bit like “virginity soap”. It is an imperative to confess and turn away from sins. And we are told to confess to each other. It gives us a real life engagement with grace, via the willing and trusting ear of another.
Do you have a confessor to whom you can confess your shame? If not, why? Do you think it would help you?
Thanks for you thoughts on this.
A lot of people claim to have friendly churches. But we have to ask, “Friendly…compared to what?”
Most would avoid saying, “our church is unfriendly.”
Yet, friendliness is distinctly different from hospitality.
• A friendly church might–by policy or administration–greet newcomers
• A friendly church may staff a church information center
• A friendly church might include a greeting time within the order of the worship.
But, this is surface-level hospitality.
Friendliness involves a, “Hello, how are you?” But, hospitality waits for the real answer, and offers an invitation to break bread together… Really, to do life together.
• After church, are folks staying afterwards to visit, or do they rush off to their kids’ soccer matches, NFL games, or other obligations?
• Are spiritual siblings, sort of, shooed out so the Sexton can lock up the building?
• Can congregants make and share a meal at church, a snack, or put on a pot of coffee, without the deacons getting nervous about clean up and carpet stains?
• Does the building, and the programs and schedules therein eclipse the human beings for whom the church exists?
Shouldn’t church feel (be) comfortable–like an inviting hearth and home? Should it not have the kitchen and the living room vibe, where people feel a bit saddened to leave, at the end, because they have enjoyed a time with people who love them. A place where people don’t look at their watch, but instead comment on the pity it is that time went so quickly. A. hospitable. place.
What is the culture of your church?
If you could change something, what would it be?
What does hospitality look and behave like, [to you]?
Thanks for your ideas.
Scot McKnight has an intriguing post regarding Sharon Baker’s book Razing Hell: Rethinking Everything You’ve Been Taught About God’s Wrath and Judgment. His article here.
After you read these 7 considerations (from Scot’s post), will you please comment here?
1. Theodicy: how does God deal with evil if it, in effect, exists for ever in a hell-state? Does evil not continue to exist, even in spite of the statement in Revelation 21:1-4 that death and suffering will be no more? So, the issue here is squaring God’s goodness with eternal evil.
2. Eternal hopelessness: a traditional hell does not permit any hope after death for anyone, including those who have never heard. Is there a law that says God’s grace can only be active in the temporal sphere — that is, during our physical lifetime?
3. Eternal evil: does not the traditional view entail the view that God never really does purge his world of evil?
4. Justice vs. Love: the issue here is an old one. If God is love, how does justice fit in with that love. Is God ambivalent or split? An image of God that emerges for many is a cruel father who guides people to think of eternal punishment as an act of love.
5. Eternal divine violence: assumptions are that punishment is an act of violence and eternal punishment would mean God is eternally violent. She connects this view of God with acts of violence in history. She thinks God’s violence contradicts God’s love.
6. Retributive justice: again, a major issue is that God’s justice in the Bible — in Christ — is restorative but hell is a belief in a retributive justice that never becomes restorative.
7. Eternal punishment for temporal sin: how can it be just to punish a human being, who sinned temporally — that is over a life time (and no more), for an eternity for that temporal sin?
(I’ll be a professorial substitute on Thursday, and I’m really looking forward to it. Below is the prayer from Dr. Laurie Mellinger’s lesson plan for that night. It’s the Benediction Prayer.)
I post it today for your personal reflection. Sometimes we don’t make the time to collect ourselves this way. Here’s a our chance today. Maybe it’s also something you’d like to share with someone else.
Let us receive Your words
and treasure up Your commandments within us;
Make our ears attentive to wisdom
and incline our hearts to understanding;
yes, may we call out for insight
and raise our voices for understanding.
Let us seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
that we may understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For You, Lord, give wisdom;
from Your mouth come knowledge and understanding.
(Share your comments and reflections)