Sunday, May 23, 2010

So long.. farewell... auf wiedersehen... adieu

My heart fell, and I cannot fathom why. This evening, my son came home from his church extremely early.  Before eight o'clock tonight, he was home. I, of course, immediately jumped to conclusions and wondered what was wrong. "Ain't nuttin' wrong. Bro. Mark only preached for about 30 minutes" my son tried to reassure me. Only 30 minutes? No way. This was a pentecostal type church. No preacher ever preaches for under 30 minutes, then of course you've got to have the traditional "slain in the spirit" stuff. Only 30 minutes? Hogwash. I was then told that the preacher has stopped 'preaching' for a while, and has started 'teaching'. The attendance has dropped off considerably, and there's not much life going on anymore. For some reason, this news hurt. To drive the knife in a little deeper, I was told that the attendance started dropping off when the last of the live music left.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Thunderstorms are swirling outside our windows. Absolutely breath taking. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I love the rains. Thunderstorms are a dime a dozen here in the southern summers, and unless they turn into hurricanes (which have been known to happen) I'm okay with it.
Why? Well, simply because just for that short time, be it a few minutes, hours, or even days... it's as if God is washing the earth clean--again. When the rain is said and done, the air smells sweeter, the plants look more lush and green, and the chorus of tree frogs and bull frogs down in the river swamp are music to my ears. For just a short while, I feel separated from the cares of this world, and cares there are many.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A time for all things

I just realized something about myself today. I don't do change that well.  A couple of weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to a workshop with a co-worker and boss. My boss is great. She and I have so much in common. We're both in Christ, we both love teaching,  and love playing the piano. This is where I get uncomfortable. She plays for a local church congregation, and doesn't understand why I don't. To be honest, I don't  understand it either. I love the fellowship I have online, but it does seem that the piano is laying dormant. So... maybe that was an omen that I should go church surfing again? A friend once told me, "If you find the perfect church, don't go--you'll mess it up!" Of course, he was jokingly being serious, but I got the message. Still, what should I be able to overlook? What should I stand my ground on? Is it time for me to change--again?

Ph.D Piled Higher and Deeper?

As we sat in the frigid gymnasium listening to the governor drone on about the importance of morals and religion in today's politics, I couldn't help but to let my thoughts wander. Today was the ceremony of my niece and her classmates completing their four years of higher education. Today, my niece will graduate with her Bachelors of Science in Education. Yep, like me, my niece has fulfilled her dreams of becoming a teacher.
Watching the graduates, as well as the gymnasium full of spectators, I wondered exactly how important our education is. The speaker jokingly made a remark of whether the students graduated cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude, or even "thank the Good Laude!" the graduates were to be commended. Exactly who thought that up? Why are Latin honors so important? Does it matter?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Discipline From God

Discipline From God

Listening to this program, I could honestly relate to the first caller. I suspect hundreds, even thousands of more people could relate also. She asked about the verse in Hebrews, about God disciplining the one He loves. She mentioned that the word "Scourge" gives the connotation of 'flaying out', as in pretty much filleting the skin. This verse has been used by many legalistic churches to heap guilt on someone. God doesn't punish us for our sins; He punished Jesus. If there was still punishment left for our sins to be had, then Jesus didn't do a very good job of providing the ultimate sacrifice. However, it's easy to see where folks can get mixed up. How often have our own parents threatened to "tan our hides" for misbehaving? How many times, especially with the older generation, were whippings, sometimes to the point of beatings gotten, all in the name of discipline? Why wouldn't we think that God would do the same thing?