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Showing posts from September, 2012

Reclaiming Words - "Worship"

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For the next several weeks, we will take a look at some words that seem to have lost a part, if not all, of their meaning in our culture.  We will begin with a quick look at the dictionary definition of the word.  Then we will think through what it might mean to reclaim the word in our lives and as an important part of our journey of faith. We started last week with a look at the word "desire".

This week, let's look at
worship
n.
1. a. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object. b. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed. 2. Ardent devotion; adoration. v.tr.
1. To honor and love as a deity. 2. To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion. v.intr.
1. To participate in religious rites of worship. 2. To perform an act of worship.
Worship has been a huge topic of discussion and debate in churches across the country.  It has even sparked books, articles, and conferences centered around the theme of "…

New Narrative - A Lesson Learned at the Kid's Table

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Family reunions always happened at my grandma's house.  We had them at least twice a year.  Everyone was there - great-uncles and aunts, second cousins by the boat load, my parents, my siblings, both sets of grandparents, and usually a stranger or two thrown in for good measure.

Several things were commonplace at these gatherings.  There was always way too much delicious food, my grandmother fussed over and took care of everyone, the house was overcrowded, stories were told, and the kids sat at the kid's table in the "living room".  This last phrase is in quotes because I don't want you to get an image of a formal living room conjured up in your mind.  This was a simple small house on East 29th Street in Marion, Indiana, that my grandfather built with the help of a few friends.  This was the home my mother grew up in.  Grandpa added the "living room" several years later.  It really was most like a converted garage.  Yet, in spite of or perhaps because…

Reclaiming Words - "Desire"

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For the next several weeks, we will take a look at some words that seem to have lost a part, if not all, of their meaning in our culture.  We will begin with a look at the dictionary definition of the word.  Then we will think through what it might mean to reclaim the word in our lives and as an important part of our journey of faith.

Let us begin with...
desiredəˈzī(ə)r 
n. A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
v. Strongly wish for or want (something).

Desire is not something we talk a lot about in church.  Sometimes it even feels like an inappropriate word to speak or mention in a church setting. It seems as though any time it is spoken, or written about, it has some type of sexual undertone.  Even though desire can be a great way to explain our feelings in this area of our life, desire can and should mean so much more.  The word "desire" (like so many others) has been robbed of its complete meaning and therefore its power.  At its…

Of Clenched Fists and Open Hands

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Religion has taken a huge hit in our culture lately.  There is no doubt that some of the criticism that has been levied against organized religions and their institutions is much deserved.  There is more than enough hate, vitriolic speech, and ugly actions all in the name of god to prove the critics right in their assessments.

In spite of all of this "evidence", I feel the need to somehow come to the defense of organized religion and those who belong to these groups.  I am convinced that organized religion is not the enemy, nor are the faithful people who are striving hard to be faithful within the structures organized religion provides them.  Organized religion is not the problem. The problem is not even faith itself even though some modern thinkers, philosophers, and pundits would like us to believe it is true.  No, the problem is and seemingly always has been with certitude - the kind of certitude that builds an impermeable wall around itself.  This is the "I am righ…

A Milk Chocolate Discipline

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C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E!

I love chocolate.  This confectioner's delight is truly one of my major weaknesses.  What makes it even worse for me is that I enjoy chocolate in nearly all of its creative variations - fruit dipped in chocolate, chocolate infused with fruit, chocolate milk, milk chocolate, mint chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate with chilies, dark chocolate, and on and on.  Much to my delight, I am told that chocolate even has some health benefits (Okay, maybe it is just a way to assuage guilt over an obsession. If so, it works!).

However, I also know that I cannot live on chocolate alone.  Even though it is tasty and may have limited health benefits, chocolate cannot become the staple of my diet.

Life is that way, too.  There are many things in which we may take delight, that are no replacement for the things which will ultimately lead to health and growth.  It seems as though part of the job description of parents is to help our children make healthy choices until they can d…