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Month: March 2017

Adulting Schools – Caution – If you were born in the early 80’s or later this may make you want to get to your “safe space”.

I had calmed down from my rant about the millennial who made a bacon cheeseburger at the local Cenex by cooking the hamburger and slapping raw bacon on top of it and serving it.  He thought the hot hamburger would someone make the raw bacon ok.   Then I got worked up again when I heard about the 25 year old who thought that the minimum payment on a credit card was a fine idea.  Never looking at the balance or realizing the 18% interest rate that would be paid this person in in some serious trouble unless he can shame the credit card company for being mean to him.  He wants a pass which means that my credit card interest will go up to “forgive” his debt.  Then I heard about a mom and pop operation that hired two millennial women to work one job because their “therapy sessions” synched up so that when one was at the therapist, the other could work. About the time I think I have seen it all I came across the Adulting Schools that are popping up all over the country that are meant to get millennials up to a basic understanding of what it takes to live outside of mommy and daddy”s basement.  We find from millennials themselves that they do not think of themselves as adults until they are 30 so….....

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Loving Salvation But Not the Savior.

On Wednesday Evenings during Lent we often use the service of Evening Prayer.  Interestingly the Canticle for that service is the Magnificat.  For some it seems strange that we would use a Christmas song during Lent.  We miss the great images that come from this song of thanksgiving My soul magnifies the Lord And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name; And His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him. He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever. Martin Luther wrote a meditation on the Magnificat for Prince John Frederick who would become the ruler of Saxony.  He thought it had something to say to political leaders, but more importantly it tells us something about God and his dealing with us. “The Magnificat taught Luther...

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Why Come to Church?

In 1881 a billboard in London invited passers-by to come to church.  It said, “There is a poem on ‘The Buried Life’ of which I am often reminded. Your lives are busy, useful, honest; but your faces are anxious and you are not all you want to be. There is within you another life, a buried life, which does not get free. It is buried but it is not dead. When it really hears God’s voice it will rise.  I believe that in the quiet of a place full of good memories, in the sound off music, in the sympathy of fellow seekers, we may better wait God’s call….It maybe that as you listen to the silence, to the music, or to the worship of others, God will speak and that the buried life will arise and that you will have peace.” Share this on:...

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Hanging Out In Front of the Drug Store and Ontology.

In a comedy skit from the distant memories of my past is a nun in a parochial school that asks a student to read an assigned essay.  It was called “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”.  The students monotone reading went something like this – Day one. I got up.  Went downtown to look for a job.  Hung out in front of the drugstore. Day two.  I got up.  Went downtown to look for a job.  Hung out in front of the drugstore.  Day three.  I got up.  Went downtown to look for a job.  Got a job keeping people from hanging out in front of the drugstore.  There was more to the skit of course, but I thought that was funny because my friends and I, when we weren’t working, hung out in front of the drugstore.*  We went there to by a “coke” but what we bought was different flavored pop that cost a dime.  We pooled  our money and bought two cans of “pop” and shared it among three or four guys. There was a time when “hanging out” was real cool.  Malls took over the front of the drugstore as the place to be.  When I came to this town in 1978 a large Mall was either being constructed or had just been completed and the advertising tease said “Meet Me at Columbia Mall”.  Anchored...

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Mercy and The Big Why.

In the Gospel lesson for tomorrow you will hear how the disciples see a man who was born blind and they ask the great “why” question.  Who sinned, this man or his parents that he should be born blind?  I guess I have to rephrase it – “why was this man born blind?  Was it his or his parents fault?” We do the same in our life.  We have an issue and we ask “why is this happening to me” and the “this” is defined by us.  Tragedy is in the eye of the beholder.  Some of the young people that I know are reduced to quivering fountains of tears if they can’t go on spring break like they used to before they supposedly got a job and supposedly became responsible grown up folks. “Why is this happening to me “they say, “when I am supposedly doing the right thing getting a job?”  Lots of supposing there.  I am a veteran pastor who supposedly has a fixed reliance and understanding of the object of my preaching and teaching, the object of my faith, Jesus Christ.  The preached Christ is all mercy and compassionate care for the fallen children of men.  He did not come to condemn the world but to save it.  He is love.  Yet when trouble and tragedy and pain come to my life I want to get from the preached...

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