Here’s a cool site I’ve been on a lot lately – World Prayers.
Even before I became a church going man I always had something like a “book” type interest in religion.
I’ve read most of the Dianetics & Scientology books. I still probably have them boxed up somewhere in my garage. I’ve even actually been to a Scientology “centre” and talked to some lady there. She gave me & my buddy this little exam then told us both we were crazy. Of course, they two of us agnsty 90’s kids – Beavis & Butthead -crazy was cool! I can honestly say I think Scientology is a racket.
I’ve read on old Norse religion, which is like a demi-god mythology type belief. It was pretty weird. Not feasible in this era. maybe an ancient way of thinking? I wonder which is older, poly or mono -theism.
That polygamist group, FLDS, was incredible to watch when it was unfolding.
I was working in Norway with a Muslim from Egypt. Not like an American hating stereotypical Muslim. This guy is a genuine good soul. Even now we keep in touch on Skype and I was talking with his all through the Revolution. It was really cool to get it from his side. Every time we’d talk about it he say ‘its about Muslims & Christians & everyone living a better life.’
Its really mind blowing to think about how strong your beliefs have to be to go through with that?
I think by seeing what others believe it helps me understand what I believe. The website I posted has prayers from all religions. I think its just some of the most amazing prose to ever be written. Its just a raw & emotional cry out to the Creator. BEAUTIFUL.
Old ladies at church don’t recognize me unless I have Andrew. It’s kinda funny
Today I sat in a very full pew next to an older lady all service long. At the end of everything she asked me “Are you new?”
She looks at me with a sideways sort of expression, “Are you usually here with someone else?”
“Yes ma’am, my son. He’s 3.”
“Ohh now I recognize you!”
Thats funny, nobody recognizes its me unless I’m chasing Andrew around.
It was a fun service too.
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
– Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
I was at St. Luke’s hospital here in Houston today. I took my girlfriend to have some tests done. She was in the lab or whatever for a couple hours so I had time to kill. To early for lunch I figured it would be fun to wonder around.
I noticed a sign in the elevator that said Wednesday ‘Celebration of the Holy Eucharist’ – 12:00 pm.
The clock on the wall say 11:45 (anyone get my George Thorogood reference?)
Hey – church is a good place to spend some time.
The little chapel was nice with big candles. St. Luke’s is Episcopal Church which is Angelical, which because I like to know my things I know that ELCA (me) has this sort of ‘communion treaty’ with the Episcopalians. And to a large extent the service followed the same pattern as Messiah. It was a mini service. 30 minutes long. There was the whole opening like we do at Messiah with the Kyrie & everything. We stood for a gospel reading. The chairs had little things for kneeling ,which I liked. Sometimes I feel like I want to kneel during Messiah service.
We did the prayers of the people but after the announcer says their bit and the floor is open to the people everyone just kind of mumbled names and petitions to themselves. That was odd, all the muttering.
We all formed a line to take communion. It was the wafer, not the bread. The wine was from a community cup, I liked that because I was first in line but thought to myself ‘I do have this pretty nasty cold sore…’
There was even a nice little sermon. The pastor was a kind looking old man wearing robes, which I liked. He talked about the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. John the Baptist is on of my favorite biblical persons. To me he embodies someone who just fights the good fight. John the Baptist would be someone whose faith I greatly admire.
So the line of Verse from the sermon was the ‘you are my Son with whom I am well pleased.’ A line I know & love.
Its always nice to take something home from the sermon and that was a good one. But then I had another realization that something was at work. When we did the Lord’s Peace it was neat. I shook hands with Drs., patients, janitors, all sorts of people I didn’t know but there we all were worshiping together.
Lining up for communion I kinda stutter stepped ( b/c I’m a clumsy awkward guy) and the lady behind me said ‘oh move down.’
Ok I said. This is just a little bit different than we do…
“Oh are you …”
Lutheran, i said and cut her off . she smiled at me and said of im Catholic. I thought that was cool. And then the second verse I took home came to mind ‘Where two or more gather in my Name…’ That was neat, I kinda self discovered a verse that shows me I’m making progress in my faith.
I was kinda proud of how far along I’m coming. Its going to be a great trip through self discovery. I think today I learned that its very rewarding to examine & wrestle with faith. Today I saw some fruits of my labors I guess you could say.
and my favorite “church-y” word is Hallelujah because it looks and sound so pretty. Its almost tied by Hosanna though.
thats it bloggers… see ya later!
Howdy! Haven’t blogged lately. Holidays make me crazy I guess. Getting ready for my first Christmas Eve service, probably ever. I’m excited to go.
I started going to Messiah around Easter and now its Christmas – so I went from resurrection to birth. Now I kinda get to begin at the beginning. Kind of a circular thought…
I’m just kidding of course.
I’m not sure why there are splits between the Lutheran denomination. Well, actually, I am. They believe different things. Not huge differences, but big enough they don’t want to be in the same group. Well, they are both Lutheran groups but… yeah it kinda gives me a headache too..
Anyway, Messiah Lutheran (my home) is an ELCA church. I’ve been working in a small town that only has an LCMS church so I went there for worship this morning. We are all Lutherans. Grace alone through faith alone. However you get there, that sums it up for me.
But, I remember being a little apprehensive about going into Messiah for the first time.
I’ve always been a believer, but organized religion scared me. I didn’t know what to expect when I went to church after so many years. This is a post for later on (Reformation Sunday) but let’s say I was pleasantly surprised .
I kinda felt the same thing going into St. Paul Lutheran here in Edna, Tx. for the first time.
“hey we’re all Lutherans here!”
St. Paul is a much older & smaller congregation. Comparing the populations of Edna/Victoria & Cypress/Houston its understandable. The church itself is super nice though. Its got this old time classic wooden “church” sense to it ya know?
High wooden ceilings, heavy brass latches on windows, creaky heavy wooden doors. Good old small town church. I love that.
The service was a little different than we do at Messiah. Very liturgical & traditional. I really enjoy a traditional church service. One thing funny I noticed though, St. Paul doesn’t stand for the gospel reading. I thought that was kinda weird.
The sermon was good. It was on the parable of the Wedding Feast/Wedding Robe – Matt.22:1-14. I learned from the sermon and it was good, but the pastor just kind of read. Like, he wrote down his sermon & then read it to the congregation. It was a good lesson but I kind of felt like I was listening to someone read a magazine article. He preached, but at Messiah – Pastor Brad preaches. I know he’ll probably read this so maybe I get some brownie points (haha) but Pastor Brad preaches with a passion that makes you feel the story. If you happen to be in Cypress come check us out on Sunday, because Pastor is awesome. I’m not trying to downplay St. Paul, because it was very nice and very traditional – they have 1 service and its more traditional than Messiahs traditional 8:30 service. I love a traditional church service, and St. Paul was nice & if I’m working in Edna on a Sunday I’ll be sure to go back but the old saying is true – there’s no place like home.
I picked up this book, The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. It had pretty decent reviews & the blurb on the back cover sounded ok. After reading further reviews it sounds like the author comes at things from a hardcore leftist perspective, which would probably take away some of my enjoyment. I’m still going to give it a chance though.
I don’t know why I read reviews anyway.
Anyone read it? What’d ya think?
Side note – LSU & Florida play tonite, that’s gonna be awesome!
I like to take it easy on Sundays. Ha, I like to take it easy every day actually – but especially Sundays. Today, like most Sundays, I just kinda hung out. Put my feet up, played some video games with Andrew, watched some football… EZ does it…
Physically I took it easy. Mentally – quite the workout today!
At church we are in the second week (first “discussion” week) of a small group study called Starting Point. We talked about why the Scripture matters to us, where we see God in our personal story, and we read the David & Goliath story. It was a good discussion & really started my brain churning.
In Sunday school, Andrew learned about Noah & the Ark, so he & I talked a little about that.
—Tangent alert— note: I know the jist of some of these Bible stories, but I’m quickly learning thats about all I know. For example, I know God was mad at mankind for how they were living so He planned to flood the world. He told Noah who was a good man to build an ark and get 2 of every animal so that the earth could be repopulated. Noah does all this, God floods the world then eventually everything dries up & God puts up a rainbow as His promise that He won’t flood the world again. I also knew that David killed Goliath with something like a sling shot & that David also grows up to be a king. My know how with these stories isn’t much.
Anyway, the actual sermon today was on the parable of the shrewd manager. Not exactly the easiest parable to understand. Back at the house I’m reading a book called Velvet Elvis which they read at church awhile back. I was able to attend the classes but saw the book at the library so I picked it up & its been very engrossing so far.
So to recap, my spiritual day has included:
- David & Goliath
- Noah & the Ark
- Parable of the shrewd manager
- Velvet Elvis
- reflection on how & where I see God in my story
I’m not complaining, one of the biggest things I enjoy about regularly attending church is how I’m constantly being challenged to rethink things. Sometimes, I didn’t even realize there was a different side of something.
I’m just saying I don’t really know the last time my brain was given such a workout. I feel the burn but its a good burn.
Add to all that I’ve had a fantasy football team to manage!
Man, I’ve had the synapses firing today!! Fun stuff.