Month: September 2015
One day after church a small group of men were standing outside talking. Manuel Beiro said to my dad “Henry, you are a cracker and I am a Cuban, and we’re going to be friends”. And they were great friends in their church life and in their personal lives. Today’s church lacks that friendliness, that willingness to reach out to everyone, anyone. Today we just want to get out of the church and get home perhaps to watch football or some such thing. Manual and my father and lets not forget Mike Cassanueva were great friends through the years and the world could sure use more men like that. I miss all of them.
This has certainly been an eye opening year. The GOP debates showed me that Fox news is certainly not “Fair and Balanced” and I have started to pay attention once again to the other news sources. Now today I see where a Fox news guy called Christians “Haters” – sorry guys but I can’t tolerate this anymore and am looking for an alternative news source.
Besides “Political Correctness” the thing that is really killing our country is the news media. What happened to those days when the news media “reported” the news instead of making it? It seems that the people working for the various news sources are trying to make a name for themselves instead of reporting the news. I stopped listening to talk radio many many many years ago when I realized that the host was sitting there preaching at me for 3 or so hours instead of taking callers and discussing the topic with them.
Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.
– 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NRSV)
The day before our Harvest Festival several sisters from church and I decorated the sanctuary with flowers, berries, and trailing shrubs. Our work went smoothly. Soon, bright arrangements were everywhere! When the main decorative work had been completed there were some “leftovers” on the table — broken branches, unattractive flowers, unopened buds. As we gathered all this together to throw into the trashcan, the caring hands of one woman took a few items from the pile of garbage, wrapped a ribbon around them, and crowned her masterpiece with a shiny bead. A charming bouquet appeared before our eyes.
Sometimes I feel like one of those superfluous, broken branches, thrown away in this materially oriented world. But for our Lord none of us is superfluous or unnecessary. Each person is precious and valuable in God’s eyes. (See Isaiah 43:4.) Each of us is a unique flower in the fragrant bouquet of the Lord.
Irina Ivanova (Pskov, Russia)
Thought for the Day:
None of us is superfluous to God.
Prayer: Generous and merciful God, help us to know ourselves as your beloved children. Help us to understand that we are wonderfully made by you and that we have everything we need for life and holiness. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Someone with low self-esteem
From the “Tea Party Nation”
The Republican Leadership in Washington want Barack Obama’s Iran sanctions deal to go through. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Bailout Bob Corker’s bill, which turned the Senate and the Constitution on its head, would not have passed unless the Republican Leadership wanted it to pass.
The Republicans are pulling another one of their famous stunts where they publicly oppose a bill, yet set the bill up so it can pass over their objections.
Iran screams “Death to America!” all the time. They spend their money funding terrorist around the world. Obama hates America and wants to hurt the nation so it is obvious why he wants the Iran deal. Bo why are the Republicans so determined to pass the bill that let’s Iran build nuclear weapons and end western sanctions against Iran?
Find out the shocking answer to this question, now on Tea Party Nation.
Visit Tea Party Nation at: http://www.teapartynation.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
As I have grown older – ok ok, old; I have had a lot of chance to reflect on my Christian life and church preference. I have a lot of miscellaneous and probably unfinished thoughts on a lot of churchy things. Fasten your seatbelts and hopefully finish reading this post.
Music, most of todays churches use contemporary music instead of the old hymns I am used to. I tolerate the guitars and drums as long as they are not do loud that you can’t hear the voices; sometimes they are just too overpowering. I do wish they would sprinkle in an old standard once in a while – I would love to sing thing like “The Old Rugged Cross” or “ In The Garden” once in a while.
In the past people would not just say “welcome”, shake your hand and then keep walking. . . because hey there might be a football game on. They would engage you in an actual conversation. Maybe invite new folks to a mid week Bible study or Sunday School or church dinner. And the older church folks would never let a newcomer stand or sit alone.
Church folk would even hand you a religious tract booklet or also something I don’t see anymore, a small New Testament Bible; I still have one I was given back in 1967 when I was leaving to go to Thailand with the Air Force. I am not saying that I always read it faithfully but it has travelled with me all over the world and I still have it and look at it once in a while – it planted the seed in Christianity in my life and I am very grateful for it.
I remember when (60’s) the Pastor would periodically come around for a visit (usually Sunday afternoon) and maybe a meal. That really helped to get to know everyone and not just be a face in a crowd; plus it is nice to get to know the Pastor as a person and not just the guy who preaches. It wouldn’t work for me in my situation as I am the only “churchy” one – but there are many folks who would benefit from it.
In parting, there is one thing I wish I could do is to go into the sanctuary during the week and just sit there in the quiet and think – but in todays world that just isn’t possible. . . . is it?
I feel that todays kids don’t know how to relax. Unless they are bellied up to a bar in the local pub or holding one of their devices staring at the screen or just sitting on the couch watching Netflix – they are not happy.
They do not know how to truly relax. The wife and I sometimes drive up to Schroon Lake and get a sub at the general store and a bottle of soda and we sit on the hill overlooking the public beach. Just watching folks swimming and just plain having fun by the lake is so very relaxing. Watching the lake, the boats the trees gently blowing in the breeze is just a pleasure. Maybe just listening to people as they talk and laugh while just walking by or playing with Frisbee’s or just watching their kids is so very relaxing.
For a generation of people who are so inactive because they stay inside and just stare at one or more of their devices constantly – they never let their mind go into neutral to relax for a while.