Worship at Christmas—- Part Four

Christmas is of course about children, and one child in particular. It is something of a marvel that God came to us in the form of a child, vulnerable, needy, innocent, and yes beautiful. We all have our visions of what that incarnation moment must have been like. Here is a beautiful song by my home boy--- James Taylor, which reflects on that moment.... where we are called to worship the infant king.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49gEmTlOTkAnd this brings me to the subject of this … [Read more...]

Worship at Christmas– Part Three

It's about time we talked about the angels, and I've got one below singing for you (aka known as Allison Kraus, with the help of no less than Yo Yo Ma on cello). Angels are involved in worship (see Rev. 4-5). Indeed, 1 Cor. 11 suggests they are the guardians of the creation order which is supposed to be celebrated in worship, as is the order of redemption. In fact, one could say that worship is the time when creation is properly aligned and properly recognizing their Maker and celebrating their … [Read more...]

Worship at Christmas– Part Two

One of the things that has happened to worship in my lifetime is that it has gone from being more theocentric to being more anthropocentric, gone from being more liturgical and formal to being liturgy-less and casual in many many contexts. Indeed, it has mostly been those sorts of services that have seen any growth and development over the last twenty years.Unfortunately, along with an admirable greater focus on praising God with exuberance with the aide of a whole series of praise songs … [Read more...]

The Hobbit Part II— Roll Out the Barrel, Watch out for the Smog of Smaug

I went to see the Hobbit Part Two with some fear and trepidation. I was pretty disappointed with the first installment last year, which involved too much running and fighting and fighting and running underground etc. I had reconciled myself to the fact that Jackson having done the LOTR trilogy first was going to retroject some of that back into this story to create a seamless whole. A children's tale it would not be. I was even o.k. with using bits from the Silmarillion saga, though why in … [Read more...]

Worship at Christmas– Part One

Advent and Christmas are the perfect times to think about the very nature of Christian worship. Oddly, strangely you seldom hear a pastor talk about the theology of worship, the character of worship, the nature of worship at any time of year. I was doing this very thing once in Austin Texas in a Presbyterian Church, and the universal response was-- "Why has no one told us this before?" It seems a common lament. So in this series we are going to talk about 'worship in Spirit and truth', and … [Read more...]

Christmas Season– It’s Time to Come Home!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozlo2FOs0Ho … [Read more...]

Ted Turner wants to go to Heaven

Here is a small part of an article about the conversation Ted Turner recently had with Wolf Blitzer.... see what you think...----Turner's rocky relationship with his supreme being, assuming there is one, stems back to childhood.When he was very young, he dreamed of being a missionary. Then his little sister, Mary Jean, got sick at age 12. He watched as she suffered terribly from a rare form of lupus and complications that left her with brain damage and screaming in pain for years … [Read more...]

Romeo and Juliet (2013)

In the old days, before Blockbuster became busted, there used to be a whole section marked 'romantic comedies'. There was however no section marked romantic tragedies. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet however is a classic romantic tragedy. And it has recently (Oct. 11th was the release), been refilmed, and then become a box office bust. Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame is responsible for the screenplay. Is the script basically faithful to the original play? Well yes. But in various ways … [Read more...]

Andrew Hamblin and Snake Religion and Mark 16

Perhaps you have seen his TV show--- Snake Church, a reality show on Nat. Geo. Andrew Hamblin is a member of the Church of God. His church is on a gravel road in Campbell County, north of Knoxville. And recently he has gotten some attention he really didn't want. The Law came and took away a bunch of poisonous snakes from his church. He sees this as a violation of church and state. They see it as a violation of the law of the state of Tenn. which does indeed regulate who can and can't have … [Read more...]