Sunday, July 31, 2005

288 'Tis so sweet

My son called on Tuesday to tell me he'd attended a small pentecostal church in his neighborhood. Since leaving the nest in 1987, he's not exactly been a church regular. We call our kids Chreasters--Christmas and Easter Christians. He was on his way to a different church in his area, but saw this one started earlier, so he pulled in the parking lot. He didn't know any of the songs, so he felt awkward, but he apparently did listen carefully to the sermon. He hears and observes better than I do, but isn't much of a reader.

He was a bit discouraged. He wants that "honeymoon with Jesus" feeling back, but heard about all he needed to be doing as a Christian. I was busy getting ready to return to the Lake, and now I wish I'd reminded him that Christianity is not a "do, do, do" faith, but a "done, done, done."

"'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take him at His word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know "Thus saith the Lord." "

Update: The pastor sent him a note, so he returned for services today. Still doesn't care much for the music or hand raising, but was able to tell me the sermon. Sounds like the pastor is a live one. He's thinking they really need a bass player (his instrument).

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Just checking

Trying out Firefox, so I'm testing the post.

Monday, July 18, 2005

287 Times I enjoy praise songs at worship

Yesterday Tony Gonzaga sang Psalm 27 at our traditional services (8:30 and 11 a.m.). It's times like that I think those attending the "informal" services (the other 8) are really missing out. But I enjoy the informal setting for worship along the lakefront at Lakeside with praise music and the little kids banging on the tambourines. It seems entirely appropriate with the gulls stopping by and the flag blowing in the breeze at the end of the dock.

Another place would be at the Grove City Church of the Nazarene when the bikers are in town. Check out the Road Rules page and scroll down and load some praise music by the GCCN praise musicians--nice. The bikers were in town this week-end--we met a few on 70E, some going a little too fast, on their way to church.

Friday, July 15, 2005

286 Christians in the Creationist Closet

We met in the coffee shop at Lakeside and began chatting because he was reading the book of Romans for a Bible study group. As a retired librarian, I'm always interested in what people are reading, and when he rattled off his current list of titles, fiction and non-fiction, I was very impressed.

Although his core beliefs probably don't surface in his job, he whispered to me that he too was a creationist when it came up during our conversation about books. The evol-bio-fundies would just go bonkers if they knew how many well educated, urban, deep thinkers don't buy into their religion. He's got 30 years in the teachers' retirement system, is part of a main-line denomination, is highly respected in his community and has at least an MS and maybe a PHD (I didn't ask). And like me, he thinks it just doesn't matter on the job except to pass sophomore biology. We confessed to each other that even as young children being taught this in school (and he is a good 15 years younger), we didn't buy it. All we had to do was look around and see the evidence. But even in our childhoods, one wasn't allowed to think outside the evolution box.

Evolutionists are safe from us, however. Creationists can't even agree with each other (as coherent groups) and waste a lot of energy squabbling. I personally believe biology instruction belongs in the church--evolution/creation, sex/abortion, contraception/abstinence, gender and marriage, stem cell research, and end of life issues because these are also theological and moral ideas. We can't entrust these important issues to the education system which seems to have its plate full with reading, writing and arithmetic and bringing poor and disadvantaged children up to the standards all middle-class children are expected to know.

[Most of this entry also appears on my regular blog, Collecting My Thoughts.]

Thursday, July 07, 2005

285 Why is Luther Winking?

The Chaplain this week at Lakeside Ohio's Lutheran Chautauqua is Dr. Fred Meuser, formerly the President of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus. I heard him preach on Sunday for church, and twice on Tuesday for Chapel and Vespers. He is really outstanding, and so very personable.

I stopped at the Augsburg table in the back of Hoover Auditorium on Tuesday and purchased a t-shirt with Luther's face on it--winking. I also bought a book I hadn't seen before, "The Lutheran Handbook." (Augsburg-Fortress, 2005)

It tells me "Martin Luther's theology is grounded in paradoxes--sinner/saint, law/gospel, hidden/revealed--and illuminated by a down-to-earth, everyday sense of humor. Thus the winking Luther--our theology doesn't save us, Jesus Christ does.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

284 Dying for a verb in Cleveland

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is what I'm reading while we're at Lakeside, rather than the Columbus Dispatch. The names in the obituaries are different--lots of East European and Italian. Either lots of consonants or lots of vowels. Also, I've noticed that no one is taken from the community with a decent verb around here. They either have no verb, or they "pass away." About half are "beloved" husband or wife, or "loving" daughter or mother. Nuns are beloved aunts.

I wrote a poem about verbs used in obituaries.

I read the paper's policy on obituaries and death notices. I see no small print about "arms of Jesus" or "at home with the Lord." You must have to call to find out why in Cleveland you can pass go, but it's tough getting into heaven.