Please Don’t Say “Clearly”

When I am reading someone’s writing about or listening to someone talking about Scripture, and the word “clearly” is used, unless it is in the context of explaining something about 1 Corinthians 13:12, I automatically become wary of the information being offered.

They will say something like “We see clearly in God’s Word that this means such and such…”, but rarely do they explain how that clarity was achieved for them.

When “clearly” crops up like that, my thought is, “Them’s brainwashin’ words.”

If you really feel something is that clear, then show your evidence and let the recipient judge the level of clarity according to their own perception.

And Can It Be…?

Such a beautiful hymn, set to beautiful scenes of God’s creation, gently spurs me all the more onward to heaven where neither thorn, nor darkness, nor impending death can ever detract from the eternal enjoyment of fellowship as it was meant to be in all its perfection.

Watch and listen: And Can It Be?

And Can It Be?

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788 

Music: Thomas Campbell 

1. And can it be that I should gain 
an interest in the Savior’s blood! 
Died he for me? who caused his pain! 
For me? who him to death pursued? 
Amazing love! How can it be 
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 
Amazing love! How can it be 
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? 

2. ‘Tis mystery all: th’ Immortal dies! 
Who can explore his strange design? 
In vain the firstborn seraph tries 
to sound the depths of love divine. 
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; 
let angel minds inquire no more. 
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; 
let angel minds inquire no more. 

3. He left his Father’s throne above 
(so free, so infinite his grace!), 
emptied himself of all but love, 
and bled for Adam’s helpless race. 
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, 
for O my God, it found out me! 
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, 
for O my God, it found out me! 

4. Long my imprisoned spirit lay, 
fast bound in sin and nature’s night; 
thine eye diffused a quickening ray; 
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; 
my chains fell off, my heart was free, 
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free, 
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

5. No condemnation now I dread; 
Jesus, and all in him, is mine; 
alive in him, my living Head, 
and clothed in righteousness divine, 
bold I approach th’ eternal throne, 
and claim the crown, through Christ my own. 
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, 
and claim the crown, through Christ my own. 

My Views On “Doing Church”

I love Jesus. I really do – ever since I came to believe on Him when I was 20 years old. I am ever grateful for what He did for me at Calvary. So don’t get me wrong when I say this: sitting “in church” and listening to someone speak a monologue is verrrry hard for me. I tune out, I lose track, I get distracted, I get tired, I get frustrated, I write random notes that have nothing to do with what the speaker is saying, and I long to share my thoughts and to ask questions as one would do in dialogue.

It has bothered me for years that the way of modern “church” is to have one person stand up and give their speech for often upwards of an hour. From my own reading of the Bible, that doesn’t sit right with me (no pun intended). But I “go to church” sometimes anyway, to see some of the people I love.

Yesterday, I went to church. And I got to thinking, as I often do, about the way modern day church is “done”. I wondered if anyone else has these thoughts, and so I googled. I found this article, which says a lot about how I feel. It also provided some points of which I’d not thought, and into which I want to look further.

There is more I could say, but I will share the link, in case anyone would like to read it. I hope there are others who feel this way.

Where Did The Christian Sermon Come From?

And here is another link along the same line:

Problems and Limitations of the Traditional “Sermon” Concept

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

An Obscure But Poignant Hymn

I saw these words on the facebook wall of a friend.  The words are meaningful to me.  I post them for quick reference and to share in case they bless others:

A mind at perfect peace with God!
Oh what a word is this!
A sinner reconciled through blood
This, this indeed is peace!

By nature and by practice far
How very far from God!
Yet now by grace brought near to Him
Through faith in Jesus blood!

So near, so very near to God,
I cannot nearer be!
For in the person of His Son
I am as near as He!

So dear, so very dear to God,
More dear I cannot be!
The love wherewith He loves the Son
Such is His love to me!

Why should I ever careful be,
Since such a God is mine?
He watches o’er me might and day
And tells me Mine is thine!

 

Marriage and Pina Coladas

I was thinking about how “marriage” has always in essence meant, up until recent attempts by some to change the definition, a contract between a man and a woman.

If it’s not a man and a woman in the contract, it’s something else, but it ain’t marriage.

I think of it like this:

There are two necessary ingredients that make a pina colada:  pineapple and coconut.

If you mix pineapple and pineapple, it is not a pina colada.

If you mix coconut and coconut, it is not a pina colada.

Pineapple and pineapple may be suitable for those who have never met a coconut that moves them.

Likewise, coconut and coconut may be the perfect tonic for one who prefers to avoid pineapple for whatever reason.

People are free to enjoy whichever drink refreshes them, but please don’t call coconut and coconut or pineapple and pineapple a “pina colada”, because without the two necessary ingredients for pina colada, it’s not a pina colada.

pina colada
Cheers!

God Of Wonders

Video

The first time I heard this song was on a warm summer’s evening here in our little cowboy town in BC, in a huge tent, played on acoustic guitar by a guy named Cam who was visiting from another city.  Others too, cracked out their guitars and jammed.  Anyone who knew the words sang along beautifully and with heart.

That was the church fellowship that I used to feel was like family.

Most of those people eventually turned their backs on me when I left the abusive ex, because of their misconceptions and misguided ideas, but God never will.  He knows the whole story.

Mummer’s Dance – by Loreena McKennitt

Video

(This post was originally written in my secret blog on January 1, 2013, but I wasn’t ready to share it at the time).

I heard this for the first time just now, in the background of a video called “The Wounded Healer”, about which I read in this thread on a fb group called Highly Sensitive Souls:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/highlysensitives/permalink/10151224146327153/?comment_id=10151224151837153&notif_t=like

It is the first song to which I have been able to listen without feeling agony, in the past week or two… I don’t know how long. I’ve lost track of days. I am enveloped in darkness.

I do not feel happy. The whole tone of this song somehow fits as background music for the way I feel inside. Not the lyrics – just the sound.

I assume the lyrics to be something pagan, but I am putting my own meaning to them as MY Lord is THE Lord, and HE is the creator of all the things about which the song sings. I do not partake of pagan things, but rather I appreciate that which God has created.

Music and Lyrics by Loreena McKennitt

When in the Springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair

When owls call the breathless moon
In the blue veil of the night
The shadows of the trees appear
Amidst the lantern light

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the springtime of the year

The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone

“A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
It is a sprout well budded out
The work of Our Lord’s hand”

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again