This evening is in a way a day of closings. It’s the end of the week, and the end of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I think our television has been on almost nonstop for 17 days now. And it’s been good seeing our Canadian athletes doing so well. 14 gold medals, more than any country has ever won in any winter Olympics. I think the early glitches of the games were pretty much forgotten as we showed the world how we party at home. People in the street spontaneously singing the national anthem? That’s pretty remarkable for any country anywhere, I’d say. And of course, we made sure to remind the world that hockey is our game. I might have over-tweeted that point, but there it is. Here we are being Canadian… thoroughly proud to the core of all our athletes who scored a podium finish, and feeling sorry for those who didn’t, whether those others are Canadian or not.
The other evening, we did a hand-blessing ceremony in our home fellowship, let by one of the women in our group.
For missional communities, it is good to be reminded of our hands. Not that they require special sanctioned programs for “ministry opportunities,” but to be reminded that they are always in the process of doing things, of touching others. This is the point of being intentionally missional… or perhaps it might be better put, mindfully missional, valuing the contacts in our everyday lives.
Blessed be the work of your hands — Holy God.
You hold us in your hands.
Following last week’s series introduction, Streams of White Light into Darkened Corners, We open the series in 1974 where Larry Norman’s introduction left off, and from the opposite angle. We begin our series of Hymns from the Radio Dial with a decidedly non-secular song that hit big on the pop charts. In some ways, perhaps this was the acme of the trend that Larry Norman described. In a significant way though, it was a milestone in the formation of what came to be called “contemporary Christian music,” something of which Norman himself was a pioneer. His introduction (last week) sets the stage onto which this particular song emerged.
The time has come to wrap up my series, Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth. I could, I suppose, carry it on for several more weeks, delving into more of the country music “hymns” that I retained from my youth, but I don’t think I could ever come up with an exhaustive list — which was not my intention in any event. Having taken the series to over 100 hymns in a period of more than two years, I think it’s simply reached the time to move on. Next week in this same time and space I’ll be publishing the series introduction for a new series to take the place of this one on Sunday mornings, and I hope it will be at least as popular — I believe there’s two years’ worth of material in that one as well.
Instead of giving you a separate list of funnies this week, I’ll just refer you to items 1 through 6. Will that do for now?
- Peter Rollins asks, “Does the devil really have all the good music?” — catch his comments on a few album covers.
- The Urban Blonde?
- Twitter users may find this chart helpful: Twitter trending topics
- Should you forward that email?
- How to Make a Baby — in case your kids ask.
- Awkward Family Photos — and you thought yours was bad. (via)
The other day I was talking with a friend about his week-long visit last year to Patmos. While there he of course visited the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1999 by UNESCO, it was established about 1,000 years ago, or about 1,000 years after John did his stint on the island and wrote the book of Revelation. As one tours the cave, some very specific matters are pointed out — this is where John slept, this is where he put his hand in an indentation in the cave wall to help him stand up, and this is where he dictated the book of Revelation.
A week or so ago I had one of those waking dreams where you’re not completely asleep but you’re certainly not awake yet. I was in a meeting with an unlikely assortment of people, and we were going around the room with everyone offering an opinion on something-or-other to do with the church and its nature… what exactly, I don’t recall. Dreams are like that. Anyway, I was the last to speak, and it seemed that I was somewhat at odds with some of the people in the group. This, of course, is nothing new to me. The strange part is what I said — I forget most of it, but it played off some things that others had said and then drew a conclusion that stuck with me, plus a further explanation that did not. I remember thinking how profound it was and that I’d have to remember it when I woke up so I could write it down. This, as you know, is a sure sign you’re about to forget some part of your dream.
Dr. Samuel Stennett was born in Exeter in 1727. An accomplished scholar, “His proficiency in Greek, Latin and Oriental tongues and extensive acquaintance with sacred literature, are so abundantly displayed in his valuable works that they cannot fail to establish his reputation for learning and genius.” He moved among the social elite in London, and was friend and supporter to the reigning monarch, George III. Despite these connections, he refused political opportunities to devote himself to ministry, and received his Doctor of Divinity from King’s College, Aberdeen in 1763. Stennett ministered at the Baptist Church on Little Wild street as his father’s assistant for ten years, and for 37 years as its pastor after his father’s death.
Who is the real
Clearly I need to make special mention of the fact that this is my 99th Random Acts of Linkage post, and what better way than to feature Special Agent 99 at the outset? But which one? Ginger or Maryanne? Jennifer or Bailey? Barbara or Anne? Oh, the dilemmas of web publishing. Vote in the comments as you hum the tune to “99″ by Toto.
So why did the chicken roll in the dirt, crawl across the road, roll in the dirt, and crawl back? He was a low-down dirty double-crosser.
I haven’t posted much along the theme of Advent during the season this year… quite a departure from what I did last year during Advent. It being already well into the evening now (at least where I’m posting from), I thought I would share some excerpts from the Compline for the third week of Advent taken from my book, That You Might Believe: Praying Advent with the Gospel of John. The book includes some original prayers and many others taken or adapted from a variety of sources, as noted below.
This weekend, on November 30th, I will mark four years of blogging. And just today, I’ve discovered that I’ve been nominated for “Best Religion/Philosophy Blog” in Canada. Wow. And voting closes tomorrow, so what can I say? Vote now? I’m kinda late getting my “campaign” started, but I only just found out I was even in the race at all. Shows how oblivious I can be — but thanks, whoever nominated me. I even get a fancy badge of honour to display. Now, in the unlikely event that I actually make the cut into the final round of voting, I’ll need y’all to go and vote again next week, okay?
Last fall in considering a missional order, I did some writing on the topic of shalom. This is a significant theme in the Bible — its basic meaning is “well-being,” but it has a wide semantic range that can stress particular nuances, including totality or completeness, fulfillment, maturity, soundness, wholeness, community, harmony, tranquility, security, friendship, agreement, and prosperity. Theologically, it is one of the most significant terms in Scripture — in translating it as “peace,” we refer not merely to time between wars nor happy thoughts of contentment. In thinking of “peace” as we often consider it, we short-change this word of much of its meaning.