This next week will be momentous. History, unpleasant history, is in the making. And yet, millions of us will go into God's House tomorrow and partake at the Lord's Table: Eternal, Unmovable, Depression-Free.
Recently, as I have been looking into various options for part-time work, I have begun to think seriously about becoming a military chaplain. There are ways to serve in this capacity with a reserve unit that won't take me too far away from my congregation. It also gives me an opportunity to prepare military personnel for deployments to the war zone, something I have felt a calling for. Honestly, I also miss being in the big green machine.
I covet your prayers for me as I make these decisions.
It seems that the financial blogs are filled with Doomsayers and Black Helicopter Freakazoids. These are indeed monumental times and the nationalization of our banking system (and who knows what next) that is underway is not good. But these are the times when the church should, as it has in the past, be a light shining on the hill. We should not be claque of cranks naysaying from our hobbit holes on the sidelines. Where are the Augustines, Luthers and Lewis'?
Though I like a lot of what The Boneman says on the subject of church music, I still think those old hymns are superior at this point in time. There is much good music still to be written in forms we haven’t even dreamed of yet. Hey, I’m a Postmillenialist, so there!
So, how can you use the old hymns and still get some bang for your shekels?
Don’t sing every blooming hymn in the hymnal. Out the 700-1000 hymns you find in an average hymnal, about 90% will be lame or unserviceable. Too sappy, too archaic in language, too weird. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, use those 50-100 gems.
Sing ferocious hymns for your processional and recessional. There ain’t nothing new out there that matches “At the Name of Jesus” or “Christ is Coming” as far as content goes and if you stick to Ralph Vaughan Williams-type tunes set a little fast, your congregation will sound like a camp full Israelites preparing for a beatdown on the Philistines.
Add some extra instruments, particularly some brass.
Keep your canon of hymns small (under 100) so your people can learn the hymns and learn to love them over time. And when they know and love them they will sing them like warrior poets.
Okay, I normally don't get worked up over politics but these Dems are shameless. First they attack Sarah Palin for openly living her Christian faith, then they use the Bible against her. Here is the new Democratic mantra:
"Barack Obama was a community organizer, like Jesus. Pontius Pilate was a governor."
Jesus was a Warrior King who createda community (not a community organizer) and Pontius Pilate was a "ruler" (hegemon). Hegemon is where we get "hegemony" from because Roman governors were appointed by the Roman Senate or Caesar (not a popular vote). They had vast powers including sole rights to judge capital punishment cases. He was also referred to as a "Prefect of Judea." So, these politicos need to stop playing amateur hour at the Theology Shop and do what they're best at, taxing and spending us into the ground!