A new liturgy

The rumor has been going around that this new liturgy will be replacing Divine Service One in the Lutheran Service Book.   It dates, though, from April 1.  That is to say, April Fool’s Day.  (HT:  Todd Wilken.)  Still, I suspect this order of service will inspire both outrage and the desire to adopt it:

OUR SERVICE
Setting One

GREETING AND AFFIRMATION

A MEDLEY OF MOOD-SETTING SONGS is sung. Stand spontaneously during the final Guitar Solo
The sign of applause may be made by all in gratitude to the PRAISE BAND.

P.    Good Morning!

C.   Good Morning.

P.    Aw, come on now. Say it like you mean it. Good Morning!

C.    Good Morning!

P. Give yourselves a hand.
Applause

MESSAGE

Silence for Preparation of the Power Point Projection.

P.    Let’s lift our hearts to God in prayer.

A MOOD-SETTING MELODY is played quietly in the background. This MELODY continues through the prayer and for 2 minutes into the MESSAGE. It begins again 2 minutes before the end of the MESSAGE.

The Pastor speaks an EXTEMPORANEOUS PRAYER.
P. Lord, we just want to thank you…

…because You’re an awesome God. And all God’s people said…

C.    Amen.

P.   Aw, come on now. Say it like you mean it.

C.  Amen!

A RELEVANT, GENERALLY INSPIRING MESSAGE is spoken by the Pastor, as well as a series of ANNOUNCEMENTS AND PROMOTIONS, concluding with another EXTEMPORANEOUS PRAYER.

MORE AWESOME MUSIC

A MEDLEY OF INCREASINGLY UPBEAT SONGS is sung. Standing Ovation

P.    Have a great week everybody!
Applause

P.   Aw, come on now. Clap like you mean it!

Applaud until the Pastor smiles and signals to stop.

P.  Give yourselves a hand.

Obama’s plan to bring down gas prices

Does our president understand economics?

Facing heat for high gasoline prices, President Obama tried to shift the focus to Congress, Republicans and energy traders, calling for legislation that he said would “put more cops on the beat” to crack down on potential manipulation of the oil market.

Obama called on Congress to provide more money for regulators and increase penalties for market manipulators. The president, flanked by Treasury SecretaryTimothy F. Geithnerand Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., suggested that traders and speculators are affecting the price of oil and digging into Americans’ pocketbooks.

“We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick,” Obama said in brief remarks in the Rose Garden on Tuesday. “That’s not the way the market should work.”

Obama’s proposal would add $52 million to the budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees oil futures markets, to pay for improved technology and additional employees. The president also proposed increasing the maximum civil and criminal penalties for manipulative activity in oil futures markets and beefing up data collection.

via Obama proposes steps to curb manipulation of oil market – latimes.com.

Or he could build the pipeline for Canadian oil.  Or he could open up Alaskan and coastal regions for drilling.  Or he could suspend restrictions on the building of more oil refineries.  Or he could lower gasoline taxes (as opposed to the Democratic strategy of raising them).  Or all kinds of other things rather than increase regulation and penalize–or even criminalize–investors!

He murdered 77 “out of good, not evil”

Few people do bad things out of a desire to do something evil.  Rather, they convince themselves that what they are doing is “good.”  And the spirit of self-righteousness, ironically, can lead to the most horrible of sins.  An example is the testimony of the Norwegian mass-murderer, of whose 77 victims, 69 were young people at a youth camp:

The Norwegian far-right activist who killed 77 people last year has told a court that he was fighting a battle against multi-culturalism and acted out of “goodness, not evil”.

Reading from a 13-page document that he wrote in custody, Anders Behring Breivik defended his massacre and called it the most “spectacular attack by a nationalist militant since World War Two”.

He said he would repeat his actions again, if he could.

“Yes, I would do it again,” he said, adding that life in prison or dying for “his people” would be “the biggest honour”.

The 33-year-old lashed out at the Norwegian and other European governments for embracing immigration and multi-culturalism and claimed he was a “second-rate citizen”.

He said the aim of the killings was for “racial purity” and to “change the direction of multi-cultural drift to avoid greater confrontation and civil war”.

He claimed the only way he could “protect the white native Norwegian” was through violence. . . .

Journalist Trygve Sorvaag, who is tweeting inside the court for Sky News, said: “For many people, it was very surprising to hear how soft, almost nasal, his voice was. He didn’t appear dangerous in any way.

“It was very hard to see that this softly spoken man is actually the person who murdered 77 people.”

via Norway Killer: Trial Of Anders Behring Breivik – Far-Right Utoya Island Shootings And Oslo Explosion | World News | Sky News.

Can you think of other cases in which “goodness” becomes a cover for “evil”?

In the beginning was the Voice

There is yet another Bible translation.  It’s called The Voice.  The publisher is Thomas Nelson, who also publishes its polar opposite, the King James version.  Here is a story about The Voice from USA Today

The name Jesus Christ doesn’t appear in The Voice, a new translation of the Bible.

The Voice translation is aimed at people who haven’t read the Bible much before and aren’t familiar with church jargon.

Nor do words such as angel or apostle. Instead, angel is rendered as messenger and apostle as emissary. Jesus Christ is Jesus the Anointed One or the liberating king.

That’s a more accurate translation for modern American readers, says David Capes, lead scholar for The Voice, a complete edition released this month by publishing company Thomas Nelson. Capes says that many people, even those who’ve gone to church for years, don’t realize that the word “Christ” is a title.

“They think that Jesus is his first name and Christ is his last name,” says Capes, who teaches the New Testament at Houston Baptist University in Texas.

Seven years in the making, The Voice is the latest entry into the crowded field of English Bible translations.

Unlike the updated New International Version and the Common English Bible — both released last year — much of The Voice is formatted like a screenplay or novel. Translators cut out the “he said” and “they said” and focused on dialogue.

So in Matthew 15, when Jesus walks on the water, scaring his followers, their reaction is immediate:

Disciple: “It’s a ghost!”

Another Disciple: “A ghost? What will we do?”

Jesus: “Be still. It is I; you have nothing to fear.”

“I hope we get people to see the Bible — not as an ancient text that’s worn out — but as a story that they participate in and find their lives in,” Capes says.

The title for The Voice came from the New Testament book of John and from the Greek word logos. It’s usually translated as “word” in verses such as John 1:1, which reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” in the New International Version, one of the most popular English translations.

In The Voice, that passage reads: “Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God.” Frank Couch, the executive editor and publisher of The Voice, says that translation better captures what logos means.

via New Bible translation focuses on dialogue, giving the Word a ‘Voice’ – USATODAY.com.

Does it really?  Not in the Greek that I learned.

I don’t think this translation is deliberately unorthodox, but the desire to avoid or recast theological language–thus eliminating concepts such as God’s “Word” and even “Christ”–suggest a brand of Christianity that recognizes no history, no continuity with the past, no Church as a corporate entity that transcends an individual’s personal piety.  And yet I’m pretty sure some of the people involved in this project aren’t that way.  Go to the  website, compare translations, and try to arrive at a fair assessment.

The third party candidates

Here is a  site that lists everyone who is running for president.  In addition to the Republican and Democratic candidates and a long list of independent candidates, here are the various people running in other parties that have ballot representation in at least one state.  (Are any of you supporting any of these folks and can say why they should be president?):

AMERICANS ELECT:

AMERICA’S PARTY:

Tom Hoefling J.D. Ellis

CONSTITUTION PARTY:

GREEN PARTY:

 

JUSTICE PARTY:

Rocky Anderson VP Not Yet Named

 

LIBERTARIAN PARTY:

 

PARTY OF SOCIALISM AND LIBERATION (PSL):

Peta Lindsay Yari Osorio
NOTE: THE PSL MAY ALSO USE SURROGATE PSL NOMINEES IN SOME STATES, WHERE NEEDED FOR BALLOT ACCESS PURPOSES, AS LINDSAY (AGE 27) AND OSORIO (AGE 26 & FOREIGN BORN) ARE NOT CONSTITUTIONALLY QUALIFIED TO SERVE IF ELECTED.

PROHIBITION PARTY:

Jack Fellure Rev. Toby Davis

REFORM PARTY:

 

SOCIALIST PARTY USA (SP-USA):

Stewart Alexander Alex Mendoza

 

SOCIALIST EQUALITY PARTY:

Jerry White Phyllis Scherrer

 

SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY (SWP):

No Candidates Identified To Date

Squirrel and deer potty training

I don’t know whether this is gross or sublime.  Actually, I think it is both gross and sublime.  Mostly sublime:

Baby squirrels must be taught to defecate. This fascinating bit of information came from Don Moore , associate director of animal care sciences at the National Zoo. Earlier in his career, Don worked in Syracuse, N.Y., rehabilitating baby squirrels.

Squirrels are among species — deer are another — where the mother uses her mouth to carry her offspring’s poo and pee away from the nest. This is to protect her litter from predators.

“Evolutionarily, that’s a great strategy,” Don said. “The mother’s removing the only thing that can give [the baby] a scent: the pee and poo.” With no scent to follow, predators can’t find the defenseless baby.

The mother’s selfless act is so hard-wired in a squirrel’s very being that babies can urinate and defecate only after being stimulated by the mother licking around . . . down there.

Orphaned squirrels raised by humans risk becoming constipated and bloated. “The gut stops moving,” Don said. “You don’t want that to happen, so you stimulate them. In fact, you have to start stimulating them just to get them to feed.”

Squirrel moms provide stimulation with their tongues. “We don’t recommend that,” Don said. “We would use a warm, damp washcloth.”

Baby squirrels must have their nether regions stimulated at every feeding from birth to about five weeks of age, when their eyes are open and their fur is coming in.

“It’s a wonderful day when they start doing it themselves,” Don said.

via Answer Man gives the scoop on squirrel poop, other readers’ questions – The Washington Post.


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