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)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The General Rules and the Baptismal Covenant for United Methodists #2: Do Good

The General Rules & The Baptismal Covenant – Part 2 of 3

By Steve Manskar

The General Rules are the United Methodist rule of life. “A rule of life is a pattern of spiritual disciplines that provides structure and direction for growth in holiness…. It fosters gifts of the Spirit in personal life and human community, helping to form us into the persons God intends us to be” (Marjorie Thompson in Soul Feast).

This series of essays explores the relationship between the General Rules and the Baptismal Covenant. I contend the purpose of our rule of life is to equip Christians, and congregations, to live out their baptismal covenant with God and one another. You will find the Baptismal Covenant in The United Methodist Hymnal on pages 33-39. I will focus my attention on the three questions found on page 34. The General Rules are found on pages 75-78 in The United Methodist Book of Discipline-2012. The rule of life is also available as a downloadable pdf here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Living and Dying Baptismally

WEsley Leadership Conference
Here is information for the next Wesleyan Leadership Conference from the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church website.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 - Saturday, October 25, 2014

General Board of Discipleship
1908 Grand Ave.
Nashville, Tennessee 37212

Steve Manskar, Director of Wesleyan Leadership, GBOD

Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources, GBOD

Melanie Gordon, Director of Ministries with Children, GBOD

Jodi Cataldo, Director of Laity in Leadership, GBOD

Tim Bias, General Secretary, GBOD

Tom Albin, Dean of The Upper Room Chapel, GBOD

Dean McIntyre, Director of Music Resources, GBOD

Michael Glenn Bell, composer and musician, The Martyrs Project: Martyrs Prayers
You may register here. You should take advantage of this very enriching time if you are able.

This Is Why Proofreaders are Necessary

from Nick Stockton at wired.com:
You have finally finished writing your article. You've sweat over your choice of words and agonized about the best way to arrange them to effectively get your point across. You comb for errors, and by the time you publish you are absolutely certain that not a single typo survived. But, the first thing your readers notice isn't your carefully crafted message, it's the misspelled word in the fourth sentence.

The reason typos get through isn't because we're stupid or careless, it's because what we're doing is actually very smart, explains psychologist Tom Stafford, who studies typos of the University of Sheffield in the UK. "When you're writing, you're trying to convey meaning. It's a very high level task," he said.

The General Rules and the Baptismal Covenant for United Methodists #1: Do No Harm

The following post is the first of a three part installment on the General Rules and the baptismal covenant of the United Methodist Church, which have been subject to some loose interpretation in recent years. The author, Steve Manskar, the Director of Wesleyan Leadership of the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church, has a keen understanding of Wesleyan leadership. I asked him several months ago to offer guest posts on this important subject. Part 2 will be posted on Wednesday and part 3 on Friday.
The General Rules & The Baptismal Covenant (part 1 of 3)
By Steve Manskar

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Scriptures and Prayer for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Genesis 45:1-15

Epistle: Romans 11:1-2, 29-32

Gospel: Matthew 15:10-28
God of the foreigner and outcast, your arms reach out to embrace all those who call upon you. Teach us as disciples of Christ so to love the world that your name may be known throughout the earth. Amen.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Untamed Jesus

Stanley Hauerwas reviews Gerhard Lohfink's, No Irrelevant Jesus: On Jesus and the Church Today.
In a chapter on the taming of Jesus he argues that Jesus is tamed when we cease speaking of his imminent return, when we ignore his sharp words against the rich, when we avoid the significance of his celibacy, and when we forget his stance against divorce. Jesus-taming strategies are designed to reduce Jesus to a gifted charismatic who at best can be identified as a gregarious social worker. Jesus is tamed by such descriptions because they conceal his claim to being the truth of God.

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Why Buy Just a House When You Can Get the Entire Town?

Wyoming Town for Sale Includes Home, Bar, and General Store, But It Has a Few Downsides

By Ko Im
July 26, 2014 9:13 AM
Odd News

Your wish to own a town can be granted-- if you have $1.5 million to spare. 
Welcome to Aladdin, Wyo. Population: 15. Yes, the town is named symbolically after the riches-seeker in the folktales of "Arabian Nights." Judy Brengle's husband had bought her the town as a gift after their kids left for college. It's now up for grabs, via a handwritten for-sale sign.

Formerly a coal-mine hub, the town now sees motorcyclists or travelers en route to Devils Tower.

The new owner could inherit:

-A bar (Although, you can drink anywhere on the 30 acres)

-A functional general store along Highway 24, with a famous, historic "Liar's Bench" on the porch

-An outhouse for the General Store, since there's no indoor plumbing or sewage system 

You could find your whole new world in Aladdin, or like what happened in a neighboring town-- purchase and rename your newly acquired piece of the West. Buford, Wyo., which was purchased in 2013 for $900,000, is now called PhinDeli Town Buford and boasts one resident.
from Yahoo News

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Depression Is a Pernicious and Persistent Demon

With the tragic suicide of actor and comedian, Robin Williams, depression is once again in the headlines and before us in conversation. This morning Forbes has posted on the five common myths about depression. I will list those myths and encourage you to go to the site to read the commentary on each myth. After the list, I will end this post with a few thoughts of my own.
Myth 1: Depression is synonymous with sadness.
Myth 2: Depression is a sign of mental weakness.
Myth 3: Depression is always situational.
Myth 4: Depression symptoms are all in your head.
Myth 5: If you are diagnosed with depression, you’ll be on antidepressants the rest of your life.