Sunday, June 28, 2009

Life Happens

...time and chance happeneth to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11 KJV

I had a conversation with a friend the other day, and we talked about how life progresses. We both are in our mid 40's, and have each discovered things about life now, and how we have passions for those things that probably wouldn't have been as pronounced when we were younger. Things can happen at a place earlier in life that are changed by a big event. We wondered why some things take place that seem so irrelevant to later things, yet those things delay the others.

Life happens.

That's what. We simply have no other way to describe these things. Why God throws us a curve or forces us to change tracks against the red switching light, nobody here knows. Why did I sit at that pizza parlor (that doesn't exist anymore) with those people (who I haven't seen in 20 years, and likely never will again) for several years without any record existing of our time there? What did it prove? It seems to be a waste of time for what I'm doing now. What will come of it?

Who knows. Such are the mysteries of life.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Re-Thinking Church Membership (Part 27) - A Sermon On Membership In The Church - by Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson at Prophezei, puts an mp3 of one of his sermons in a blog post. [Update: link no longer in use] (Listen to the actual sermon here. [Update: link no longer in use] He also prints a disclaimer: "Warning: Listen at your own risk.") He preaches on what makes one a member of a church - being there and participating. Simply being a functional Christian implies that one is already a member of that church. He also explains how his church creates their membership roll:

We recognize you for who you are in Christ. You want to be a member of our church? Come. Take communion. Sing the hymns. Pray with us. Live with us. Do it on a regular basis. And we will consider you a member. We will recognize you as a member. And we'll even do it whether you agree with that or not. Because this is not about an individual decision to join the church. This is about the church being the church. So, if you come, and you take communion, and you do it on a regular basis, and you give to the church, and you worship...I'm sorry, you're gonna be put on the membership list.
Pretty simple, huh? He also gives a challenge to those who believe in Sola Scriptura: Where in the bible does it say to require an additional oath to become a member of the church? The sermon is average sermon length, I'm guessing 30-40 minutes.

Part 26 . . . . . . . . Part 28

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Night Potpourri

Not-so-random thoughts this time on a Friday night:

  • Tonight I watched my first full hockey game of the season. It was really exciting. Especially the last 4.2 seconds. I can't wait for the next game.
  • My four year old son's favorite animal is the penguin.
  • I have a friend originally from Pittsburgh whose wife comments on my blogs occasionally. I sent him a note tonight.
  • Right after that I watched my favorite baseball accomplishment; a complete game shutout. "The Franchise" blanked the A's and had the game winning RBI.

Now for some random thoughts just a few minutes before midnight:

  • Eclectic Blogroll additions here at From the Pew:
  • Will Hapeman blogs at Willohroots
  • Chemist and organic farmer Dr. Lenny and his alter ego Lemme Howdt blog about science, earth and poetry at The Zone.
  • Dave Cuzner et al blog classic modern graphic design at grain edit.
  • I went to high school with and bought my first guitar in 1979 from outstanding musician Rich Flynn. If you live in the Bay Area, go see him.

And, early Saturday morning is still Friday night:

  • Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, fishes up a post from his archives about how culturally atheistic Chinese nationalist students here in America see Christianity for the first time.
  • My bible is almost 30 years old, and it looks like it. NASB hatchback.
  • I'll be painting somebody's bedroom purple in the morning.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Survey Results: Changes In Faith

The week before last I took a survey of my readers called Changes In Faith. The results are in the comments section of that post.

Everybody that responded has changed their religious affiliation to some degree or other. Nobody has remained in the church grouping of their childhood, and several don't assemble with a church. This may have more to do with the content of my blog and what type of people read it than with a cross section of society. Even so, most people I know have changed affiliation. The Billy Goat asked if I've read James Fowler's Stages of Faith. I haven't, but here's the Wikipedia link. This book seems more like an age dependent psychological development than what I'm trying to get at. Even though I asked about the faith of one's childhood, that faith isn't childish because it is held by the adults around them.

I'm interested in what makes people change churches, denominations, traditions, etc. Why would somebody grow up Catholic and then change to Protestantism? Or vice versa? Were those decisions rational? Doctrinal? Convenient? Compromise for the sake of another? Outward conformance without inward conviction? Due to bad personal experiences?

Much of the change over time for me has been in large part due to the Protestant belief in "Sola Scriptura," or Scripture alone. Church groups have claimed the bible as their authority, yet when I check what they believe with what the bible says (or seems to say to me), even at their request, I find a difference. If enough differences add up to the extent that those differences prohibit basic fellowship, then I would consider leaving that group. Maybe I should also ask if people believe all the same teachings of their church. That would be interesting, too.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Night Potpourri

Random thoughts on a Friday evening:

  • Curse the ice cream man. So wishes Mrs. Scott. He drives by just a few minutes before dinner and causes a stir among the neighborhood children. Discord in our house while dinner might get burnt...
  • Chasing squirrels at the Berkeley marina was fun with our seven year old.
  • With our new laptop I got to sit at a cafe and write a magazine article. Wow, a real writer. Now to get something published.
  • An ad for an architectural job for which I'm neither over- or under-qualified. It actually looks pretty good. Let's see if I get an interview...these are pretty rare these days.
  • Today with the kids was just one of those days. :(
  • The plastic button on the kitchen sink sprayer broke and now turning on the water means it comes out of the sprayer. Any plumbers out there?
  • Ceiling fans are wonderful in weather like this. Ahhh.
  • There's a complete toy store inventory under our sofa.