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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Day After Christmas!

What's that?  Did I just hear a thousand splutters at reading the title of this post (okay, okay, after not posting for a little over 11 months, it's probably closer to 2 or 3 splutters, if that)?  Certainly, there must be some kind of mistake here.  After all, what kind of Christian wishes people a Merry DAY AFTER Christmas rather than a Merry Christmas?  I mean (and here I am speaking for my imaginary reader of this post rather than for myself), isn't Christmas the holy, special, and/or important day?  Thus, at the risk of alienating readers that still might be lurking, I present a few reasons why today shouldn't be any less merrier than yesterday:
1) Everybody, sing along:
This is the day this is the day...
That the Lord has made that the Lord has made...
We will rejoice we wil rejoice...
And be glad in it.   and be glad in it.
(Together) This is the day that the Lord has made....

Huh, wuzzat?  You say that's a verse in the bible?  Well, just who do those biblical writers think they are- taking a perfectly good song and trying to turn it into one of them there psalm thingies?  But anyway, this is the day that Lord hath made.  That's not to say that yesterday wasn't also the day that the Lord haddeth madeth, but that today is no less a day that He hath made than yesterday.  And therefore we should equally be glad and rejoice in it.  In a similar vein, we Christians are commanded to "rejoice evermore" and to "pray without ceasing" (as far as I know, neither of these phrases are featured in any current Christian songs, so I suppose I have no objections to the biblical writers using them), which would seem to include days other than just those that are holy, special, or otherwise important.
2) But, I can imagine some people complaining, how can I rejoice when I didn't receive [insert desired item(s) here] for Christmas?  To which I respond, I didn't receive even one gift due to financial difficulties (a situation for which a remedy might be found in the near future, but that's neither here nor there at the moment).  Let me restate that: I didn't receive any material presents, yet I did get (or at least continued to get) some far better ones.  Such as the gift of another day of life, without which any material gift that I might have received would be worthless to me.  Furthermore, I remained in God's grace, a gift to cherish long after I would any material gift.
3) Then there's that whole question about whether Jesus was really born on December 25.  Not that I'm going to go all legalistic over those who celebrate Christmas.  However, there is no biblical mandate to treat it as a more holy, special, or otherwise important day than any other.

So have yourself a Merry Little Day After Christmas [*spoiler alert*]... and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

National "Adopt an Unvisited Post" Day

[Update: The greyed (or at least light-blued) out links have been visited already . But feel free to visit them anyway.  The more visits they get, the happier they'll be).
Alone they sit there: undesired, unwanted, unvisited. Hearest not thou their forlorn cries, dear reader? Havest not thou, in thine heart\ of hearts, a speck of compassion? Failest not, kind sir or kind ma'am, to spareth but a few seconds of thine time to makest one- or more!- of them feel loved. And what a fine selection we havest for thou to chooseth from:

 Deof Movestofca's Grand Web Tour #1: 20 links in 56 days No idea why this received no views when the Grand Web Tour #2 has received 7 when they're basically the only difference between the two is the links "toured". Why not check both out?

Apparel to avoid when teaching children about colors:This could confuse them (this is one of those jokes many people might not understand right away).

Man's problem: How the Bible answers our most important question- why we suffer, Theological problems with "God's Problems", Philosophical problems with "God's Problem", Bart Erhman's odd Job Let's just say I have a few disagreements with Mr. Ehrman

Six Signs that Your Depiction of Fundamentalists Relies More on Media Stereotypes than Historical Research That my response to "Ten Signs That You Might Be a Fundamentalist" has been removed seems to be one sign that some prefer to perpetuate the stereotypes to informing people what Fundamentalism originally stood for, Those who are confused about the two should check out this following link:

Who wants to be (able to identify) a Fundamentalist? It's like a game show you can play anywhere!

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary: "Ocean: A body of water occupying 2/3 of a world made for man -- who has no gills." Just think of all that extra space we would have to live if we got rid of all that excess water. We might not have plate tectonics, which could make the planet uninhabitable, but we'd have a lot more living room (or at least room to live).

Ministry success: it's not about "our" success, it's about God's (Pen & Parchment, Parts 1 + 2) I would say that any ministry that simply presents the Gospel faithfully and accurately is already a success.

Venom: Whiniest. Supervillain. EVER! Blaming someone for exposing your false accusation of murder against an innocent person only makes you sound petty. Speaking of which...

You see you don't have to live like a pharisee...* I'm trying not to be a pharisee here (or Petty, Tom)..

Greed and envy: two sides of the same coin Unfortunately, they both keep returning like a bad penny.

Ascension-uating the positive With a pun that bad, it's got to be good!

The art of Revelations It's quite a revelation.

Seeing a way off the ship of death All ashore that's going ashore.

Feeling list-less? Here's 10 ways pastors fail their people I highly recommend Joe McKeever's blog to anyone who hasn't read it yet (as well as to anyone who has, too).

Web of Trust and the new censorship If you don't like a particular website's views, simply hope enough people give it a low rating so that it'll scare people away from it.

Saying "bah, humbug" to those who claim there's a "war on Christmas" Honestly, don't we have more important things to worry about?

"Denial" isn't just a river in Egypt- it's part of a Christian's call If you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk (like an Egyptian?).

Shedding a little light with Christmas music... Sorry, I've used up my quota of witty and/or ironic comments after links for the month.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A couple that never lost that Loving feeling

Photos of the Loving Family from Grey Villet's 1965 Life Magazine Essay -
In the spring of 1965, my husband, Grey Villet, was given a Life Magazine assignment to photograph the Lovings, an interracial married couple then embroiled in legal tangles after their arrest for miscegenation in Virginia. Grey did not concern himself with those entanglements. He chose, as he did in every essay we ever worked on together, to seek out the literal heart of the matter: a love story.
Tender Photos Unearthed from a Turbulent Time | Love + Sex - Yahoo! Shine
When Mildred and Richard Loving married in Washington, D.C. in 1958, they didn't think they were breaking the law. Both were from the small town of Central Point, Virginia. Mildred was of African-American and Native American decent and Richard was white. They did know it was illegal for them to marry in their state-as well as 15 others--which is why they left to tie the knot. Within a month of returning home, police burst into their bedroom in the middle of the night and arrested them under the state's anti-miscegenation law. They were sentenced to a one-year in prison term that could be suspended if they left Virginia.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Feeling list-less? Here's "10 Ways Churches Show That They Want You"

Joe McKeever: 10 Ways Churches Show That They Want You

You are given a warm, personal welcome.
  1. They make everything clear in print, in sermon, and in announcements. (I Corinthians 14:8) The signage is clear and just right.
  2. They have great rest rooms. (For some reason, I'm unable to find a good scripture for this!)
  3. A few learn your name and call you by it. They show a genuine interest.
  4. They invite you to other things. (Revelation 22:17).
  5. They respect you, and do not push themselves on you. (Revelation 3:20)
  6. They have greeters outside the front doors, not inside. (Psalm 84:10 You knew I was going to use that, didn't you?)
  7. They give you an opportunity to respond, to ask questions, and to join. (Acts 8:36)
  8. They contact you during the following week. (Acts 14 14:21-22 and 15:36).
  9. They get back to you with the information you requested.
Nothing to add except my response:
Another problem (although probably covered by #'s 1 and/or 2, but not specifically mentioned) is churches that don't post the times of their worship services (or even a phone number so one can call to find out). I'm just wondering if they expect people who don't know this information should just hang around the church all morning until it opens.

The God that is not pursuing, nor in a journey, nor peradventure sleepeth and must be awakened

Stand to Reason Blog: One of These Gods Is Not Like the Others
Not all concepts of gods are equally likely (or unlikely), nor are they equally necessary. Is a rain god necessary to explain rainfall on any particular day? No. But is a creator God who, in a universe that had a beginning, brought everything (including the predictable laws of nature) into existence out of nothing necessary?  Now that is a completely different question.
This is one of those posts where my response is towards another comment rather than the post itself:
@ Josh: "If your religion is the correct one then your God is special because he is real."
You've got that backwards: If the God of the Bible is real, then our religion is the correct one. So you're just presenting a straw man here.
"But the idea that everything is one and everything is unified appeared in India before Christ, the whole concept of emptiness is a much better explanation of how things work."
I'm not quite sure where you're going with this, what you mean by "the concept of emptiness", why you believe it is a "much better explanation of how things work" or how any of this connects with the origins of science or Christianity.
"Science is not as recent as some think."
Then feel free to, ahem, enlighten us.

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