A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Will the Discovery of a Philistine Cemetery Shed Light on Ancient Israel's Nemesis?

from Kristin Romey, at National Geographic:
An unrivaled discovery on the southern coast of Israel may enable archaeologists to finally unravel the origins of one of the most notorious and enigmatic peoples of the Hebrew Bible: the Philistines.

The discovery of a large cemetery outside the walls of ancient Ashkelon, a major city of the Philistines between the 12th and 7th centuries B.C., is the first of its kind in the history of archaeological investigation in the region.

While more than a century of scholarship has identified the five major cities of the Philistines and artifacts distinctive to their culture, only a handful of burials have been tentatively identified.

Simply put, archaeologists have found plenty of pots, but very few people.
The entire article can be read here.

The Myth of the Good Old Days

There's lots of bad stuff going on in the world today. A natural worrywart would have a feast wigging out over what is happening in the world and right here in the good ole' U.S. of A. How many times I hear people speaking of the good old days, of simpler times when life wasn't so complicated, when it was safe to let children run free in public and when everyone supposedly went to church every Sunday.

I dissent from such a view.

The View of Things from the Heavenly Horizon: A Lectionary Reflection on Colossians 3:1-11

Colossians 3:1-11

Several years ago, I was in Cuba on a teaching mission. One afternoon, during some free time, our hosts took us to a mountain on the Isle of Youth. There was a path up the side of the mountain, and those of us who were able and willing, were invited to climb the mountain. It was a tough climb; some who were not in the best physical condition were unable to continue for long. But for the four of us who made it, when we stood on the top of that mountain and looked down at the landscape below, we were treated to a view of the world that one can get only from the horizon.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Scriptures and Prayer for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Hosea 1:2-10 or Genesis 18:20-32

Psalter: Psalm 85 or Psalm 138

Epistle: Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19)

Gospel: Luke 11:1-13
Father in heaven, in your goodness you pour out on your people all that they need, and satisfy those who persist in prayer. Make us bold in asking, thankful in receiving, tireless in seeking, and joyful in finding, that we may always proclaim your coming kingdom and do your will on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Check Out The New Ashland Team Ministry Website!

Christ United Methodist ChurchFirst United Methodist Church

The website for the shared ministry of Ashland First and Christ United Methodist Churches, where I am a co-pastor can be found here. You can also like us on Facebook. The links are on the home page.

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: This Doughnut Costs Some Serious Dough

This Bougie Doughnut Costs Nearly $2,000
 07/20/2016 12:39 pm 12:39:13

Jenna Amatulli 
Trends Editor, The Huffington Post

Created by the Dum Dum Donutterie in London, the “Luxury Zebra Cro” is a croissant-doughnut hybrid with a twist.

Made with saffron-infused butter croissant dough, Cristal rosé champagne caviar, gold leaf, Tahitian gold vanilla beans and rare Amedei Porcelana chocolate, this doughnut costs £1,500 (roughly $1,974.55), which is basically a downpayment on a Ford Focus.

The "CRO" (they can't call it an actual Cronut because that's trademarked by Dominique Ansel) was created to celebrate the launch of the Just Eat Food Fest in London from July 22-24.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Faith Idles When Character Shrivels

To live with integrity, it is important to know what's right and what's wrong, to be educated morally. However, merely KNOWING is not enough. Virtuous character matters more than moral knowledge. The reason is simple: like the self-confessing apostle Paul in Romans 7, most of those who do wrong know what's right but find themselves irresistibly attracted to its opposite. Faith idles when character shrivels.

Are There Different Types of Time and Space?

Mind-boggling considerations from Ethan Seigel:
One of the most counterintuitive lessons of Einstein's relativity is that there's no such thing as absolute space or absolute time. If I ask you when and where you are, you can tell me; but if you and I go to distant locations and I ask you when and where you perceive me to be, what you answer and what I answer won't necessarily match up. As it turns out, there’s no universally good way to define time and space (or distances) for any location other than your own in general relativity. As a result, we have multiple ways of defining these things....

When we use concepts like "time" and "distance" in our everyday language, there are a host of assumptions we rarely think about.
The entire intrguing article can be read here.