Prayer for Good Use of Leisure

There are many things that drew me to the Episcopal church, but the Book of Common Prayer is definitely one of the major influences. This is one of the prayers included in the morning office for Saturday and I’m always glad to see it:

O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

blogging again

The biggest reason I’m here now is facebook. I am stunned by the depth of problems with it, and just can’t bring myself to do much more than like other people’s posts. I’ll share more of those details here. I thought I had moved a bunch of my old files over here at some point from a previous blog, but apparently not. This will serve as a place to keep links that I’ve found helpful and, if I had to guess, not much else. The conversations that took place on blogs before facebook have pretty much died.

I’ve done a fair bit of journaling over the past year. I believe I’ve made an entry every day. I don’t always have much to say, and I’ve spent time thinking about what my purpose is for journaling. WordPress doesn’t even like the word, but wordpress also doesn’t like the word wordpress, so obviously it needs a better spell check dictionary. Who am I writing for? I’ve come to believe that I’m writing for future me. There was a time when I thought I was writing for someone else, because the journals I’ve read or heard are from famous people or people who lived through significant historical events (Anne Frank, the journals from Ken Burns’ Civil War, etc.,.). Some of my journal entries from year’s past I find pretty interesting (when the kids were born, various trips, etc.,) but most are fairly mundane.

Enough of my personal thoughts, this is a tool I plan to use some over the next year. It’s 365 daily journal prompts. Some seem really good, some seem sort of weak, but they give you a starting place if you don’t already have one. My starting place is usually the commemoration from the Episcopal Church’s Great Cloud of Witnesses, but this will add some extra discussion when needed.

Here’s the full list of questions: https://www.lifecapturedinc.com/journaling/

Pentecost and big surprises.

12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.

Acts 2

Me: Do you know what that was?
Cop: I have no idea! That is the craziest shit I’ve ever seen in my life, AND I’M A COP!
Me: Ha. Yeah, it was weird.
Cop: You wanna sign up to be in the NYPD?
Me: No thanks.

Improv Everywhere

A year or so ago, Improv Everywhere did one of their famous pranks/performance art pieces at Grand Central Station. Watching the video can give you a sense of what it must have been like for these people. Consternation, amazement, disbelief were probably just a few of the different ways people reacted to the scene.

In a similar way, Pentecost threw people off completely. What did it mean? Why did it happen? Of course, the Improv event was timed, scheduled, planned, but the people watching it didn’t know that. The observers at Pentecost didn’t know what was transpiring either.

It is now around 2000 years since the birth of the church. Two thousand years. Yet we are still amazed. We are amazed at what God has done for us, in us and through us. Share your amazement. Happy Pentecost!

Rain

Might as well make the best of it, because here it comes again.

Here are some songs that talk about rain; some of which I like, some of which just get stuck in my head when it’s raining, some of which I never heard until I started searching for rain songs.

Eurythmics: Here Comes the Rain Again

personal note: I saw Annie Lennox sing this live, while it was raining.

BJ Thomas: Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head (I saw BJ Thomas sing this, but it was not raining.)

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Have You Ever Seen the Rain and Who’ll Stop the Rain (thanks Leah)

Rihanna: The Umbrella Song Not really my musical preference, but it’s definitely a rain song.

The Beatles: Rain (with some sunshine, too)

Madonna: Rain

Clint Black: Like the Rain

Tom Waits: More than Rain

Carpenters: Rainy Days and Mondays (wish I had vid. for the Cracker remake)

There’s a million more. Purple Rain, I’m Only Happy When it Rains. Rain seems to be a good topic for music. Snow doesn’t seem to have as wide a reach. Lots of sunshine songs though. If I ever see the sun for 12 hours straight again, maybe I’ll post those next.

Library web site

Linkage begets linkage. Currently if you search “chester county tn library” or “Henderson tn library” the actual library web page does not make the first page. I didn’t venture past the second page because honestly, how often does any one go beyond the first?

Here’s the official web page for the Chester County Library, located in Henderson, TN, which is a great library and has great resources. Free wireless? Yes. DVDs? Yes. Oh, they also have lots of books and staff that will gladly help you find what you need.

Chester County TN Library

Did you get that site? What, you want a pic too?

I got that from the official web site, which is for the Chester County, TN library in Henderson, TN. Here’s the site. Did I already link that?

Chester County Library

Feel Good Friday video

Brief background, “Starfish and Coffee” used to get a lot of airplay on XM Kids when we listened to it back before my kids moved on to other music. It’s a great song, written by Prince. This video is of Matt Nathanson singing and having a great time with the song, and turning it in to a medley. It’s his version (minus the medley) that was popular on XM Kids.

Matt will be at Memphis in May next Friday and I’m jealous of anyone who gets to go. (though I might pick Elvis Costello on Saturday if I had to choose a day.)

Watch it now before Prince finds out and strips the audio. He’s mean like that.

Wesley is funny.


Photo by flickr user Serendigity.

On this day in Wesley’s journal, we have an entry from 1760 in which Wesley discusses the problems that Ireland has faced over the years. He bases his thoughts on a book written by Sir John Davis (which may be Sir John Davies, but I haven’t looked thoroughly) regarding the history of Ireland, and it’s interesting stuff, especially since it discusses issues which still resonate in Ireland. No, that’s not funny.

What’s funny is the entry above it, from January 16th:

One came to me, as she said, with a message from the Lord, to tell me that I was laying up treasures on earth, taking my ease, and minding only my eating and drinking. I told her God knew me better; and if He had sent her, He would have sent her with a more proper message.

I love that God worked through this man. It gives me hope that I can overcome my often sarcastic, petulant attitude.

Jesus and the folded cloth / napkin.


Last year someone asked me about an email they received regarding the resurrection. Here’s one version of it:

The Gospel of John (20: 7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin. Is that important? You’d better believe it! Is that significant? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master was done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, “I’m done”. But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the servant knew that the folded napkin meant, “I’m not finished yet.” The folded napkin meant, “I’m coming back!”

He is Coming Back!

For those of you with limited time, let me just say this. That’s bullshit. For those who want more info, keep reading.

Brett Royal posted this email recently on his blog, and the he agrees with me in questioning the authenticity of the story. I’m not a Hebrew scholar, and what I know about Jewish traditions at the time of Christ is roughly equivalent to zero, but what sense would this story make? Jesus knows and participates in master/servant relationships from the master perspective? He uses his burial clothes in the same way that people use napkins at a table?

The email explanation tells us nothing that the Bible isn’t already telling us. The clothes let us know one thing which is obvious. The body wasn’t stolen. He’s coming back has been assured to us in many passages of scripture. We don’t need a contrived, unsigned, unresearched email to tell Christians what they believe about the resurrection and the return of Christ.

There are a few sites that can back me up on this. Truthorfiction.com is one of them. I also asked a professor who has well-known wisdom on the subject. This email tells us nothing that we didn’t already know from scripture. It tells us a lot about our culture though. More on that later.