Things I Think…

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34 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Beth Moore (who I really like as a person) just set the Twitter record for platitudes in one tweet..
    “We have no idea what the coming year holds but this I can promise you based on the unsurpassed authority of Scripture: our God’s going to be faithful. He’s going to be good. He’s going to love us & be our light in the darkness. He’s going to keep His word. He cannot do otherwise.”

  2. Steve says:

    Fly Eagles Fly! Eagles will win Superbowl.

  3. Xenia says:

    I love Beth Moore and everything she wrote in this tweet is edifying, if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

    I am looking forward to 2020. Will there be new grandchildren? Will my lemon tree produce some lemons? Will a find a thesis director? Will I ever make it through Wheelock’s Latin? Who will God send to live in the empty house on our block? What new people will God send to our parish? Am I going to be able to achieve my goal to read through the Spanish-language NT this year? Will I finish writing my novel? Will my daughter and law and I actually make it to the Renaissance Faire in Utah this summer? Will I be able to visit the monastery in northern California this year? Wow! So many things to look forward to! So many things to being doing with God this year.

  4. Xenia says:

    All to say, happy New Year Phoenix Preacher peeps and may you endeavor to find the best in everything God sends your way.

  5. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I like her too.
    All those things she notes don’t address how I’m going to make it through the next year…and that is frankly all I’m worried about.
    Happy New Year, my friend!

  6. Xenia says:

    Huh. Oddly, it did help me, quite a bit.

  7. Michael says:

    “Huh. Oddly, it did help me, quite a bit.”
    Then I bless her for writing it.
    The challenges ahead of me this year are terrifying..we’ll see how it all works out.

  8. Xenia says:

    I could add to my chirpy list some things that I am pretty sure are going to go wrong. Will my chronic ailment get worse? Are the developing schisms in Ortholandia going to affect our parish? Is the pro-homosexual movement going to get worse? Will there be civil disturbances? New wars? How many children will be aborted or caged this year? How many little children will be sucked into the demonic transgender pit? Is Pope Francis going to completely destroy his church?

    Because of these things, Beth’s Tweet is very helpful if we choose not to see it as a string of platitudes but truths we need to be reminded of occasionally.

  9. Em says:

    #5- there came the day when i said to my daughters, “Either you clean up this room or i am going to do it and you will come home from school and find all this stuff on the front porch!” They didn’t believe me and it happened. ?
    #10- amen .. Just finished my will… May we all be blessed by the Father with “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow….”. ?

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    I’m looking for small signs of hope wherever I can find them this year, starting here:
    Michael is still alive, reading Anglican theology and writing… check!
    Xenia is doing two languages (actually three with Middle English) and is writing a novel… check!
    And I’m managing to do one lesson in the Office in Greek… check!
    I think finding hope in actions rather than platitudes may be the way forward…

  11. Em says:

    Hope in actions – amen … If you can’t find something to focus on, it is likely that God will put something in front of you
    – whether you like it or not….
    If He doesn’t? Well, thats a worry. Look around you. Maybe He’s waiting for you to write a book, too… ?
    I treasure the writings from Michael on my bookshelf…
    Latin, Spanish and German were the languages that i was exposed to… German was the hardest as my tongue just can’t get those words out

    irrelevant trivia – i have a favorite commercial: woman watching her family, including dog watching her in bubble bath while someone in the background is singing, “I don’t know why I love you, but I do…”. ?

    Thanking God for a sunny January one

  12. victorious says:

    Maybe Beth’s “platitudes” and other like minded encouragements stir up enough hope within the lives of some facing dark circumstances so that they take action based upon the goodness of God rather than remaining in a rut based upon an analysis of their circumstances.

    Blessings upon all this year to discover or recover good works prepared by Jesus to find a place in.

  13. j2theperson says:

    Beth Moore wrote a positive and true thing on Twitter instead of using it as it so often is to insult others and increase discord.

    I understand, though, that platitudes generally ring hollow when you’re experiencing hardships. Life is tough and I wish I could give you some hope.

  14. Michael says:

    My problem with platitudes is that they lack any objective meaning, but are passed off as profundities.
    For example…
    “God will be faithful”…to do what? To be what?
    “God will keep His word”…which part?
    “He will be your light in darkness”…to what end? To help me see or to be of some metaphorical comfort?
    He will keep His word”…again, which part am I to be assured of?
    Now, we can impose our own set of hopes on these saying,but they are objectively empty.
    I get that they are part of Christian culture, but they do ring very hollow after a while…

  15. j2theperson says:

    I hear you, Michael. I don’t particularly care for platitudes myself for much the same reasons as you express. But if people want to post anodyne pablum on their Twitter accounts they’re free to do so. And some people seem to find encouragement and value in what I view as anodyne pablum.

  16. Michael says:

    J2,
    Well said…I agree.

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    When you read the Scripture with platitudes in mind, I think it limits what you take in. You look for what seems to reinforce the platitudes and then miss the wide range and scope of Scripture. Missing the range and scope the platitudes become a means of limited interpretation.

  18. Michael says:

    Duane,

    That’s what I meant to say… 🙂

  19. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    It’s much on my mind. Reading an article by a Rabbi with whom I used to read and study the Talmud, I was struck most of all by how he would examine a given platitude on prayer, and then hold it up to the whole range of Scripture, his tradition (what others have said), how such a platitude has been used in literature (to get a common understanding), how the platitude related to human psychology, and then return to the platitude to see what was of value and what was not. It is a different way of understanding and interacting with both Scripture and commonly held assumptions which are contained within the platitudes. I found his approach refreshing…

  20. Em says:

    Well…. Platitudes? Dunno, if they are tossed at you by smug or even well meaning folk… Ugh
    But there was a time (we lived next door to a witch, had nails pounded into my tire walls and my brakelines sliced among other things) i came across the motto on a flowery poster: “Bloom where you are planted.” I hung it over the laundry tub .?

  21. Steve says:

    Perhaps Solomon got tired of his platitude writings in Proverbs and wrote his more contemplative essay in Ecclesiastes. Personally I get more out of the Proverbs but that’s just me.

  22. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I hold Proverbs on par with the “Old Farmers Almanac”…

  23. Em says:

    Micharl @12:06… I’m willing to bet that God doesn’t. ?

  24. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Martin Shields wrote a commentary on Ecclesiastes in which he pointed out that it’s only within the wisdom literature that the wisdom literature is taken seriously, or sages for that matter (Shields isn’t the only scholar to point this out, he mentions some work done by Frank Spina). Shields made a case that Ecclesiastes was, as I put it, a kind of Pentagon papers for the wisdom movement and sages who collected proverbs. The Preacher collected sayings and platitudes and was wise but began to weigh platitude against platitude. Shields proposed that in the Tanakh there is Proverbs but there are countervailing wisdom books. Job presents a narrative in which a righteous man suffers despite his righteousness, which is a warning against proverbs/platitudes being universally applicable. Ecclesiastes includes a process of demonstrating how in a world rife with human evil and a God who is mysterious that the proverbs collected by the sages don’t bring with them any assurance life won’t be terrible. It’s better to be wise but it’s no safeguard against misery, and if you live long enough you begin to observe how proverb X, however useful it is in context A, is worthless in context B.

    Shields also made a case I found interesting that 1) there’s a tradition Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes but Shields doubts Solomon wrote it 2) there’s not only no clear evidence that the Preacher has been repenting the preacher expresses some doubts about human origins in a way that never invokes any biblical text and 3) the epilogue is likely a later addition to the completed text.

    That there are two books that make extensive counter-arguments to the assurances that show up in Proverbs leads me to suspect that Proverbs, if read as a stand alone work, won’t help people much and won’t be read in the context of the larger body of wisdom literature in which it should be appreciated.

  25. Michael says:

    WTH,

    Thank you…well said…

  26. Babylon's Dread says:

    Here’s a think I think is good.

    https://askdrbrown.org/library/official-statement-leadership-panel-todd-bentley-january-2-2020

    The dolts at Pulpit and Pen cannot stop themselves from seeing more approval of TB in this condemnation.

    Telling the truth is hard business and one thing I appreciate here.

  27. Michael says:

    BD,

    It seems pretty clear to me…I may disagree with them about TB’s “gifting”,but their conclusion was correct.
    P&P’s numbers are scary…that has become a monster of a site.

  28. Em says:

    Yep, i saw that on the news and couldn’t help but think, will the Islam fanaticists attempt an assassination of Trump?
    Can’t say that I’m sorry for Iran’s loss and I know some would say, “go for it.” But it is not a good thing…

  29. Or it’s a lot of bluster coming from a machismo culture, unless one thinks there are sleeper cells in the USA. Bluster like Saddam or Ghadaffi . Oil futures have spiked, but we’ve seen it plenty of times over whatever.

  30. Muff Potter says:

    It is my fervent prayer to the Almighty that there are sane men in our senior officer corps. who will refuse to obey any further such orders from a megalomaniac.
    Sane men who know full well what could ultimately ensue

  31. bob1 says:

    It’s pretty obvious the guy they took out was an evil creep.

    Having said that…do we have a strategy? And I thought our President was committed
    to our getting and staying out of the Middle East. Now I read there are thousands
    of troops on their way over there…

  32. Em says:

    New Victor, i think there are sleeper cells in either the U.S. or directly over the border i Canada. Muff, God IS in control of history, but He does hear the prayers of His people.
    The machismos and our President, meglomaniac or not, know the game they are playing… but this is no game and whether we take a stand of appeasement, of wait and see or meet this evil head on, it will play out according to the plan of God.
    God keep as there is nothing prophesied to give us hope for the here and now…. unless God rewinds the clock and He could. He does set the rules…. ?

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