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)

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49 or 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 18:10-16 or Job 38:1-11

Psalter: Psalm 9:9-20 or Psalm 133 or Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Gospel: Mark 4:35-41
Keeper of our lives, you know the hardness and gentleness of human hearts. You call your people to faithful living. Through the storms of life that bring suffering and fear, joy and laughter, teach us to turn to you for all we need, so that we may come to know your presence even in the midst of the trials that surround us. Amen.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: When Robbing a Bank Remember to Bring Identification

Bank robbery suspect gives ID, easily tracked by police

From Associated Press
June 22, 2018 5:56 AM EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police say a quick-thinking bank teller in Ohio convinced a suspected robber to hand over his own license.

Authorities say the man walked into a Huntington Bank in Columbus on June 4 and gave the teller a note saying he was armed and demanding money.

The teller gave the man a stack of cash, but then he demanded more money from the electronic cash recycle machine in the bank's lobby.

Police say the teller told the man the machine needed a driver's license to dispense cash, so the man handed his own license over.

The license led police to the 51-year-old man who was arrested June 15 and charged with aggravated robbery and threatening with a deadly weapon.

Monday, June 18, 2018

How Much Diversity Can Unity Tolerate? The United Methodist Church Will Soon Find Out

Unity in diversity is a common rallying cry for all kinds of institutions and organizations including the church. I love the idea of unity in diversity. One cannot look at our one creation in all of its differences and not see a God who relishes diversity. In Paul's image of the church as the one Body of Christ with different parts, he puts forward the idea that the diversity of the church is essential for the unity of its mission (1 Corinthians 12:12-31).

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: 1 Samuel 15:34 - 16:13 or Ezekiel 17:22-24

Psalter: Psalm 20 or Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17

Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
Creating God, your reign of love makes all things new. Plant seeds of confidence and gladness in our hearts, so that, trusting your word, we may live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and was raised for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: That's not a Pothole! It's Pepperoni!

Domino's on streets, not for pizzas but to fix potholes

From Associated Press
June 12, 2018 7:27 PM EST

MILFORD, Del. (AP) — The saying goes that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but what if the road was paved with pizza?

News outlets report national delivery-based pizza chain Domino's is aiming to make commutes around the country a little less hellish, by helping to repair potholes.

The company's "Paving for Pizza" program has launched in four test cities: Athens, Georgia; Bartonville, Texas; Burbank, California and Milford, Delaware.

Milford's public works director, Mark Whitfield, says an abnormally harsh winter left the city with more potholes than usual. Milford received a $5,000 grant, which covered the repair of 40 potholes.

The city used their own crews, who stenciled Domino's logo and "Oh, yes we did" on the first few repairs.

Domino's is soliciting nominations for more cities.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Unhitching the Old Testament from the Christian Faith: The Testimony of the New Testament-- Matthew-- A Good Holiness Theologian

A superficial reading of the New Testament reveals clearly that the faith of the first Christians in Jesus was integrated with their understanding of their Scriptures-- the Old Testament. Although many continue to do so there is no responsible interpretation of the New Testament that pits Old against New, law against grace, or embraces Spirit apart from law.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says,
 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (5:17-19).
The first thing Jesus says is that he has not abolished the law or the prophets. It is important to emphasize the two together. It has become a standard shibboleth in some mainline and evangelical circles today to pit the prophets against the law as if the two are antithetical. Once in conversation with a fellow pastor about biblical interpretation he said to me in response to a point I had just made, "But that's the law, not the prophets." Such a statement would have made no sense to Jesus.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Scriptures and Prayer for the Third Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: 1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15) or Genesis 3:8-15

Psalter: Psalm 138 or Psalm 130

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Gospel: Mark 3:20-35
God of judgment and mercy, when we hide ourselves in shame, you seek us out in love. Grant us the fullness of your forgiveness, that as one people, united by your grace, we may stand with Christ against the powers of evil. Amen.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

I Will No Longer Marvel at How Quickly Time Passes

I cannot believe that it is June. It seems as if Easter was just yesterday and Christmas the day before. Every year, time flies by faster than my ability to capture and hang on to it. I look at photos of my now grown children when then were young and it seemed as if I blinked and they became adults. My oldest granddaughter is now three and a half years old and just finished her first year of preschool... when did that happen? I am fifty-six years old and not sure how quickly I have arrived past the halfway point of my life. I have approximately ten years until retirement and more of my active days of pastoral ministry are behind me. I not only cannot believe that it is June, but I am not sure I can figure out where the years have gone seemingly in such a fleeting manner. To be sure, they have been wonderful years full of blessings and much happiness, and perhaps that is part of the problem. Time flies when you're having fun is the old adage. Perhaps, I have been having too much fun and time passes quickly when the days of life are filled. Perhaps, the relentless passing of time is a sign of a blessed life.