There Must Be Factions

In talking about attending a Roman Catholic wedding Protestant friends asked rather enthusiastically about taking communion during the wedding service. They thought it would communicate a sense of unity and support with the bride and groom and their families. They thought it would show their ecclesiastical egalitarianism, Protestants big enough and confident enough to cross the denominational divide in a show of Christian unity.

I quashed their enthusiasm as quickly as I could. I explained that communion for Roman Catholics wasn’t a symbolic remembrance, but a change of substance as the priest RC Communionintoned words from the Mass by which the elements became Christ. I also told them that the Roman Catholic Church wasn’t as broadminded as they were, and that as non Roman Catholics they shouldn’t participate, indeed weren’t welcome at that table, as those who hadn’t embraced that expression of faith through baptism and confirmation in the Roman Catholic fold. This was all rather an unwelcome deflation of their sincere but naïve enthusiasm for ecumenism. Continue reading

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Christian Hope

Fear & Trumpst

Screenshot 2018-09-07 14.26.13Against all the nay saying Donald Trump is a politician who has actually followed up on many/most of his campaign pledges. From policies aimed at maintaining or returning jobs to the United States and leveling the international trade playing field, to First Amendment freedoms to the selection of Supreme Court nominations, the President has been behind many commendable efforts that should benefit everyone in this nation for years to come.

Certainly some efforts have been less than successful, brought more controversy than benefit, or promise benefits yet to be seen.  Continue reading

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Sunday Morning

There is so much going on Sunday mornings when the Church family gathers together, and yet so little preparation for that concentrated time, that I found the following blog article by Jordan Standridge of the Cripplegate worth sending along. Hope you enjoy and benefit from it as I did. Mike

“Sunday Morning starts Saturday Night”, The Cripplegate blog.

 

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One Generation to the Next

Psalm 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, 6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 7 That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, 8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psalm 78 is a personal favorite of mine. It encouraged me as a father raising young daughters years ago, and it encourages me today, a grandfather watching my daughters and their husbands shepherd their own sons and daughters. God makes plain in this song that he intends that one generation would come into the living knowledge of him through the witness of the previous generation, as that previous generation of faith declared God’s saving acts and covenant to their own children. Then, by God’s grace, those children would grow up in faith and declare the saving acts of God and God’s covenant to the next generation. Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 11.37.22 AMOne generation to the next declaring God’s faithfulness and living in faithfulness (imperfectly to be sure) to God. Each generation a link in a chain of life and faithfulness. Each one knowing and praising the God of life; the God of faithfulness.

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Pain & Glory

“What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Those memorable lyrics from The Grateful Dead (1), were running through my mind as friends described their challenging, decades long odyssey in the Church of Jesus Christ. I had new respect and appreciation for their courage and really a kind of foolhardiness in following after faithfulness in the midst of a merry-go-round of strangeness in one Church setting after another.

Thinking of my own family’s journey through the vicissitudes of life and Church the word brutal came to mind: brutal… brutally hard, brutal relationships and ordeals, brutal losses and brutal disappointments; brutal.

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Old Friends

I love coffee and most things having to do with coffee.

  • I love the smell of coffee beans.
  • I love my coffee grinder and the options on the coarseness of it’s grind and the amount to be ground. Am I making a latté? (fine grind and 2 cup setting.) Or, a pot? (coarser grind and 10-12 cup setting.)
  • I love a good drip coffee maker, and equally the look and engineering of an espresso machine.

But in all things coffee, second only to coffee itself, I love coffee cups most (we have over a hundred coffee cups and mugs.) I’ve been collecting coffee cups and mugs for about twenty five years. Coffee cups have become

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My newest friends, from the YMCA Camp, Estes Park, CO

old friends and they remind me year after year of where I was and what I was doing when I collected each.

I have cups from across the nation and to a very limited degree, from around the world.

When I used to frequent Starbucks I collected their cups from each city or region that had one. I have Starbucks cups from near, Colorado Continue reading

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True Patriots

My wife Cathie is a true patriot; I don’t know anyone who loves this country more than she does. Nor do I know anyone with more zeal for this country’s return to goodness and greatness than she has.

 

imgp1050WWI era songster and Yankee Doodle Dandy, George M. Cohan, was auspiciously born on the 4th of July. Cathie, perhaps his modern day counterpart, was born on Veterans Day. Once, when at a convocation at our local university, the veterans in the crowd were asked to stand and be recognized. Cathie, never in the military, stood with them as her family chortled to each other at her mistake. But she had risen to give the standing veterans a standing ovation, her birthday relatives and comrades. We still laugh about that today, but
she is no less a patriot than the veterans she loved to honor.

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