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Friday, June 15, 2007

Merging Scripture with other Source Material for the Sermon

The scripture for this week's sermon involves Jesus sticking up for a sinful woman.

The theme of the first part of my message is to sit, and accept the unearned grace of God. Curiously enough, the scripture begins with the act of relaxing, "Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table." Luke 7:36 But the notion of beginning with acceptance and unearned grace comes at the end of the story, which is the beginning of the sinful woman's saved life. "Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'" Luke 7:50. Grace and Salvation are terms I'm interested in breathing new life into. I think they point to realities that deserve more consideration but we enlightened folks.

The second theme of my sermon deals with walking the walk. Going the extra mile for you fellow humans and living rightly. This idea is a little tough to see in the story at first. I do note that the church people "did not give [Jesus] any water for [his] feet, but she wet [his] feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair." Also, Jesus said to her, "I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much." So, the notion of helping others to the extreme and the idea of sinfulness are both present in the story.

The pay off, is standing up to evil. The whole story is about that. Evil doers, who in the name of the church do wrong. The anti-science in the name of the church is not only interfering with the lay person's understanding of the origin of the planet; it is allowing the cure for diseases to go unresearched and it is being used as an excuse to ignore the destruction of the planet God gave us. Just for one example of evil.

Food for thought.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Last Sermon for a While

I will be preaching on Father's Day at another Disciple church in Mesa. This time at Mesa First Christian . 805 N Country Club Drive, Mesa, AZ 85201-4105.

The sermon is to focus on lessons my father taught me. I have an amazing relationship with both of my parents. I admire the tremendously and relish any opportunity to talk about them. For this sermon, I'll be merging stories I've been telling for a long time that include my dad, with a very important spiritual note written by Watchman Nee: Sit, Walk, Stand.

The three parts stand for first sitting and accepting God's grace. Then, powered by this recognition, live rightly, or put another way, walk the walk. Finally, with a foundation in God's grace, practiced through good living, you are capable of standing up to evil.

I'm looking forward to bringing it together. Bill Jacobs asked me to do it a long time ago and I've had the chance to turn it over in my head and let it ferment a bit.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Great Moments in Presidential (and Vice Presidential) Speech

Similarly, as NBC illustrates in its brief, in recent times even the top leaders of our government have used variants of these expletives in a manner that no reasonable person would believe referenced "sexual or excretory organs or activities." See Br. of Intervenor NBC at 31-32 & n. 3 (citing President Bush's remark to British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the United Nations needed to "get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit" and Vice President Cheney's widely-reported "Fuck yourself" comment to Senator Patrick Leahy on the floor of the U.S. Senate).

Fox v. FCC, 2007 WL 1599032, *13 (2nd Cir. 2007). I couldn't resist. I doubt very much that Bush/Cheney use more profanity than Truman or Kennedy or Clinton 42.

To salvage a snarky post with a real idea, indecency and profanity is an interesting area for me. Generally, I get very nervous when our government wants to monitor what we say or what we do with our bodies. On the other hand, I do think it is destructive to feed our minds pornography, including what gore porn (used by someone on NPR to describe Hostile II or VII or whatever). Anyway, I'd definitely like the church to denounce use of pornography, but I don't think I want the government to get too involved.