Things I Think…

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75 Responses

  1. LInn says:

    #9 I guess I’m the eternal optimist…I try to engage as much as i can, especially when people ask me how I “do it” as a teacher and living alone. The first response is always my faith, followed by my crazy sense of humor (which has always been a part of me). There is joy in following Jesus and the truth, vs chasing down all the newest conspiracy theories (I had to look up chem trails after it appeared in the comments on another post last week-I live near the airport and wonder how many of my goofy neighbors go out to try to interpret the trails as the planes fly overhead). When people get too confrontational about Q or masks or the government, I politely wish them well and go on my way. We will still all be in this together after the virus is over, and I’d rather have some way to communicate, if possible. I confess it may not always be possible, but then my optimism kicks in again.

    And, for the record, I have a few people in my life that God has graced me with who have come to faith or grown in their faith because I prayerfully kept the communication lines open. You. just don’t know what God might do with a hello, how are you and a listening ear.

  2. Jean says:

    I find myself in a dilemma this year. My pastor said last weekend that what the world needs more than anything else this year is Easter. I couldn’t agree more. I have friends and family spread out geographically.

    My dilemma is that I’m not sure what Easter means to every church, what application might be taught, or what the content of the preaching will be Easter morning at various churches. I would like everyone to attend an Easter service, but I don’t want to encourage someone to go where what is preached does more harm to them than good.

  3. bob1 says:

    Michael,

    I’m really, really happy that you’re getting your first shot! I have several chronic health issues going but had no side effects with the first one. This Friday I’ll get shot #2. Even if you have side effects, they only go a day or two.

    And the latest good news is that if you’re getting a 2-shot series, 2 weeks after getting your first one, your infection risk drops by 80%! How about that. The news just keeps getting better!

    Of course, we need to get the 2nd shot, too. The ABC News anchor last night was practically pointing his finger at viewers as he said such.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-vaccines/pfizer-moderna-covid-19-vaccines-highly-effective-after-first-shot-in-real-world-use-u-s-study-idUSKBN2BL246

  4. Michael says:

    bob1,

    Thanks…I’m a little nervous as I have some large health issues right now…but this seems wise, anyway. My appointment is in an hour…

  5. Em says:

    #5 – too much truth… Have we convinced ourselves that the Faith is all about tolerance? There is a sloppy kind of love that destroys rather than builds…. Or so it seems to me

  6. CM says:

    Michael,

    It’s good that you are getting the shot. Let us know once you get it if you suddenly feel that the Edge Browser is the best thing ever or if you have a sudden urge to draw an image of Baphomet. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Michael says:

    CM,

    I’m one of the few Mac users that already likes Edge…maybe I’m already vaccinated?

  8. Dan from Georgia says:

    CM and Michael…

    Lol ๐Ÿ™‚

    I got the evil Johnson and Johnson vaccine last week and within hours, I grew 2 red horns, got out a few rock albums and danced to them, and now am planning on going to the movie theater…

    Oh, and asked for a second shot because I wanted more chips in me…

  9. Linn says:

    Michael,

    I had my first shot three weeks ago, and I had a sore arm. I get my second next week. i can hardly wait! I’m praying for you! And, they will babysit you for at least 15 minutes to make sure you don’t turn into an eggplant.

  10. Michael says:

    Dan,

    I’m hoping for a similar reaction… ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Leaving right now…eggplant is better than a Brussels sprout!

  12. Linn says:

    Michael,

    i am laughing because I detest Brussels sprouts!!!

  13. mary k (aka mk) says:

    Michael,

    Three weeks ago yesterday, I drove my husband to the ER with 103.1 fever and low pulse ox. Doctors said the next day had he not gotten there, he would have passed away in his sleep.

    He was diagnosed with double pneumonia due to Covid. He was in the hospital for 6 days, had a plasm transfusion and cocktail of IV meds (remdesivir and zithomax) that saved his life.

    Upon release from the hospital, his pulse ox numbers slipped again. One of his brothers, a nurse, flew from CA to help us and coordinated a medicine regiment with my other brother in law, a doctor. They are gifts from above who helped get their brother stronger. My husband still has a long road ahead, but he’s past the most dangerous part..

    This virus is scary, unpredictable, and a mystery. Why I remain completely healthy after being exposed to my husband makes no sense. I have been on a high dose of a vitamin regiment to keep my immune system strong. We did all the things, wearing masks and staying home as much as possible. Still he got sick.

    This Thursday I get my first vaccine. My medical family has read all the literature and assures me it’s okay to take it (even though I’ve never had a flu shot in my life). I’ll get my second shot the end of April.

    It’s good to know we won’t turn into eggplants, lol. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let us know how you do today, Michael.

  14. Babylon's Dread says:

    Within the church we have always been aware of the ‘ecclesiola en ecclesia’ have we not? The deconstruction of all things will is a big reveal for us all. It appears the visible church is going to be shaken until all things shakable fall. It was just a few short years ago that the resilience of the American evangelical church was considered a marvel. It’s fall appears to be mighty.

    Did not the Roman church collapse under the pressure of the Reformation and did not the Reformed state churches collapse under the pressure of the free churches and their offspring? Now it appears all things Judeo-Christian are collapsing at a pace we could not imagine.

    And yet we are “receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” apparently we have not yet discerned that kingdom.

  15. Em says:

    Brussel sprouts are delicious the way one of my daughters cooks them. The only way i like eggplant is sliced, dipped in egg and crushed cornflakes and fried – my grandmother’s recipe
    Vegetables can be tasty, but no thank you to marshmallow sweet potatoes – just bake em, slather them in butter, if you please….
    Wonder what Adam and Eve ate in the garden? Just raw fruit!

  16. LInn says:

    Em,
    To quote a famous children’s author:

    I will not eat them with a fox, I will not eat them in a box, I will not eat them with a mouse, I will not eat them in a house…

    I’ve had them many ways, and I can’t stand them.

  17. Michael says:

    MK,

    I was just getting ready to message you and ask how things were going…prayers continue for you and yours.my friend.
    So far, I’m a little sore and practicing hypochondria… ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Captain Kevin says:

    Glad youโ€™ve gotten your first shot, Michael.

    Had my first Pfizer vaccine a couple weeks ago. The only reaction was a bit of a sore arm and neck for about a day. Get my second one this coming Saturday evening.

  19. Xenia says:

    I only had a sore arm after Moderna shot #1
    After the 2nd shot, I had chills, fever, and a headache, but they only lasted one day.

    Definitely worth it!

  20. Dan from Georgia says:

    My J&J reaction: sore arm started about 1 hour. I did feel kinda yucky that evening and again for a few hours the next afternoon.

  21. Em says:

    Linn, ๐Ÿ˜„
    God keep

  22. Michael says:

    CK,

    I had the Pfizer too…not much happening so far…except in my imagination…

  23. Michael says:

    BD,

    My concern is that we have so corrupted the basic Gospel message and broken down the institutions so badly that it will be generations before a clear view of the kingdom can be seen.
    I place myself in the position of a young person seeking Jesus today…and wonder if they will find Him as He is…

  24. mk says:

    Michael,

    Hypochondria, that will probably be me too this Thursday! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Glad you got your first shot out of the way. Thank you for your prayers, each day he gets stronger. Praise the good Lord. Will keep you posted.

  25. Michael says:

    mk,

    Please do…I’m kind of like a far away cousin at this point… ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Em says:

    Vegetable aversion memories. ..
    Had a child who hated peas… Thought she could hide them in her glass of milk
    ” don’t make me eat them, daddy. I’ll throw up! ” he did and she did…… LOL

  27. pslady says:

    Ten points on all 10 points! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. bob1 says:

    Yeah, getting the vaccinations is an excellent opportunity to practice hypochondria! Same here, Michael. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Duane Arnold says:

    #7

    There is a sense that the institutional church (I include Evangelicals, SBC, etc. with the mainlines) is slipping over into a “free fall’ of sorts. Added to that, through age, retirement and pastors/priests who have ‘just had enough’, we’re losing some of the best. I decided a few years back to mentor certain younger clergy… but the youngest is 42 and just starting out. It may be time to buckle up for a wild ride…

  30. bob1 says:

    Duane,

    Are you finding that more men and women are becoming pastors after they’ve spent some years in some type of “secular” business? I know this was the pattern a few years back — wondering if this might still be the case?

  31. CM says:

    Regarding veggies,

    Brussel Sprouts have to be broiled with the right seasoning.

    Eggplant parmesan (whether in hot sub form or baked in the oven) is truly one of the best (and really only) ways to eat them.

    Iceberg lettuce is not lettuce or a real veggie for that matter. Crunchy moist air is what it is.

  32. Linn says:

    Em,

    My sister hated peas. My mom said she would stay at the table until she ate them. She did, actually falling asleep with her head on the table. My parents made a wise decision to skip the peas. Years later, my mom and I had a laugh when her son left a pile of peas on his plate after eating his stew. He was about the same age his mom was when she refused to eat her pills.

  33. Em says:

    CM, so…. Did God give us lettuce just for the crunch?
    Could be… ๐Ÿ˜

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    bob1

    The vast majority (over 80%) of people preparing for ministry have already had a previous career. Now, while only anecdotal, so many people I know have retired from ministry at the earliest point possible. These are good people who have just had enough of the “left, right” issues. Most are centrists, but their voices are drowned out by the drumbeat of politics and culture wars…

  35. Babylon's Dread says:

    My wife got her first vaccine shot today as well.

    What do you guys think about vaccine passports?

    Will Vaccine passports be required at voting places?

  36. Jean says:

    Dread,

    You do understand that it is in many cases businesses which are in favor of vaccine passports as a means to provide assurance of a safe environment for customers and employees. Restaurants and airlines are two prime examples of businesses which are highly interested in raising consumer confidence in their offerings.

    As a conservative, I would think that you would be in favor of the free market determining whether a vaccine passport should be required. Don’t conservatives want to support the success of private enterprise, which provide jobs and tax revenue?

    Regarding voting, I think that if elected officials want to implement a vaccine passport for voting in person, then reasonable accommodations should be implemented for those without one. It could be a separate room or an outside drop box or some other safe and secure method.

  37. bob1 says:

    Duane,

    Thanks for your comments. I find it very sad that so many have had enough of ministry. But quite understandable. IMHO. I think that the large majority of Americans, like the pastors you mentioned, are centrists.

  38. Babylonโ€™s Dread says:

    Jean

    I did not express an opinion though you imagine correctly that I have misgivings about any kind of coercive action in this regard. I am actually quizzical about whether it would be considered in the same manner as voter ID in terms of being suppressive. These areas where concerns cross over are the most intriguing.

    This passport is likely to be required for all kinds of behaviors.

    And Bob1 and Duane

    43 years as a local church pastor and 2020 was enough to quash any zeal for extending myself as a pastoral leader. The multiple divisions cast into congregations by outside voices and government actions are simply not worthwhile.

    Younger candidates can take on the role as both pastor and arbiter of sociopolitical conflict โ€” my church was very bipartisan as we have studiously avoided public endorsements of partisan concerns. 2020 bulldozed them in our doors in ways I had not seen coming.

  39. Babylonโ€™s Dread says:

    Iโ€™m guessing that may surprise some here. For 40 years I never even allowed voter guides to be placed in the foyer though we often registered people to vote and encouraged them to do so.

  40. Jean says:

    Dread wrote:

    “And yet we are ‘receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken’ apparently we have not yet discerned that kingdom.”

    Let’s take a shot at discerning our kingdom, in the context of Easter.

    God took on Himself human flesh to redeem human flesh. He accomplished our redemption by raising Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, from the dead.

    The import of the resurrection, the redemption of human flesh, is that whatever is fallen in human flesh, whatever is corrupt in human flesh, has been redeemed. Jesus died once; He will never die again. In the redemption of human flesh (i.e., the resurrection of Jesus), the fallenness, corruption and sin that infects human nature, has been cured.

    When we, new beings in Christ, receive His kingdom, we are invited to imagine the redemption of our bodies, the setting free of creation from corruption, and the new heavens and new earth that Christ will bring when He comes again.

    These are positive (not negative) promises and a positive outlook. Why are many Christians so focused on the corruption of this evil age that we are poor heralds of the age to come?

    A current cultural flashpoint between Christians and the pagan world is over gender identity. It is true that Christians do not recognize gender transitioning. But surely a kingdom message would not be a law message (i.e., “thou shalt not”, which by the way is the power of sin), but a kingdom message about the redemption of God’s good creation of male and female, both of whom are made in the image of God; neither of whom was created for subordination to the other; that many things have been corrupted through the fall of Adam, and yet, God promises to to make all things new and to remove all tears and suffering.

    We know, as kingdom people, that gender transitioning will not clear a conscience; it will not contribute to a healthy and harmonious society; it will not please God; conversely not transitioning for fear of God’s or Christians wrath also will not please God. The works of the law do not justify!

    A kingdom discerner prays that God’s name shall be hallowed. God’s name is hallowed when (and this is very simple) we believe him. When we treat what He says as the truth. That is hallowing His name.

    A discerning truthful kingdom message says: Each of us, with all our human flaws, physical and psychological, is so valuable to God, that God’s Son gave His life for us and redeemed us. When we believe in Jesus, we and all our flaws are sanctified in Him. We are relieved of the burden of trying to right creation; Jesus is making all things new!

    He will make us new, not from corrupt human flesh, but with new immortal flesh free from all corruption. If only we believe Him!

  41. Michael says:

    I don’t think vaccination passports can pass constitutional muster…and I’m not sure I want them to…

  42. Duane Arnold says:

    They won’t… but if I need a vaccine passport to return to Paris, I’m standing in line…

  43. bob1 says:

    I wonder if I’ll need a vaccine passport to get back in to Nashotah House’s wondrous library! Which I’ve missed dearly…:)

  44. Muff Potter says:

    @ Nr. 6:
    And I’ve seen heathens act like Christians.
    And it brought Romans2:12-16 to real life.

  45. Nathan Priddis says:

    Hope you feeling well Michael. Will pray for your overall health and encouragement.

    I only recieved the first vaccination. It’s possible my reaction may have had more to do with my underlying issues, then the vaccine.

  46. CM says:

    Em,

    I didn’t disparage all lettuce, give me some red leaf, green leaf, Boston, or Romaine lettuce any day. Iceberg lettuce perfectly fits its name – it has about much flavor as one.

    Besides God already created a veggie _just_ for the crunch. That would be celery. ๐Ÿ˜€

  47. CM says:

    Regarding vaccination passports , I have to think about that one. A US passport is not a right any more than a driver’s license. That being said, there is nothing preventing countries from requiring visitors be vaccinated for various diseases as a condition of entry into that country. This is already tied into tourist and other visa requirements in many places.

  48. CM says:

    In regards to vaccinations and entry into various businesses, government offices, etc. that is another issue. If a private business can require you to wear masks, shoes, or shirts for entry into their premises, they certainly have the right to require you to have proof of vaccination. If you don’t like it, tough. You are free to shop somewhere else or have it delivered. Which is why all these so-called “free-market” “conservatives” are a bunch of hypocrites when they have meltdowns in and over Walmart requiring masks for entry.

  49. Babylon's Dread says:

    Hypocrisy is not a partisan vice… human hypocrisy abounds. I always wonder if the hypocrisy accuser is proclaiming innocence and purity. When people say they don’t go to church because of the hypocrites I like to congratulate them that they are too good to worship with people like that.

    Like the sainted Doc Holiday in Tombstone “My hypocrisy knows no bounds”

  50. Duane Arnold says:

    Bob1

    It comes to mind once again that Nashotah House has a special Michael Ramsey Collection. You might check on it the next time you’re there…

  51. Jean says:

    Dread,

    I tend to agree with you, but there is one distinction that should be made.

    A lot of the ministries Michael writes about are ones in which the hypocrisy of leadership is either hidden or excused. That uneven treatment of hypocrisy is what really harms the church IMO.

  52. Em says:

    Laying down my own hypocrisy for a moment….
    I am listening to Jimmy Swaggert singing “The Will Be Peace in The Valley” and i am touched… sounds good to me. ๐Ÿ˜‡
    Praying all who come to Michael’s website gather in that valley at the end of their journies…..
    Lest somepne think that i don’t know Jimmy’s history – i do

  53. CM says:

    Em,

    I think Michael and many others have a preference for Jimmy’s cousin Jerry’s musical talents IMHO.

  54. Em says:

    Yes, CM, i know….. Just surprised myself finding his singing of that song quite touching.. . Is Jimmy one of the hypocrite preachers? Duno, but i doubt it… God knows, i don’t

  55. Babylon's Dread says:

    Jean,

    Hypocrisy is definitely not to be excused because it is universal.

  56. Nathan Priddis says:

    Em. I haven’t seen a Jimmy video since earlier in the 2010’s, but the distinctive Family Worship Center carpet was still there.

    If true, that’s a bonifide miracle of God..as much foot traffic as that place got in the 80’s. Probably cost way to much to replace with such a reduced ministry footprint, yet stuck with a legacy facility.

  57. bob1 says:

    Duane,

    Thanks! I should check that out.

    Peace to you.

  58. Michael says:

    Jimmy is extremely talented and an extremely complex study.
    I have many of his albums…he’s the second best piano player in the world…even now in his eighties.
    He’s an easy target, but he’s much more than people know…he feels his own hypocrisy more than we do…

  59. Michael says:

    I think about these things at times…and I’ve never yet met the person who could have handled being Jimmy Swaggart.

    I sure as hell couldn’t have.

    He and Jerry Lee were born into abject poverty and parented by mentally ill families with a twisted history of darkness…and a fervently legalistic Pentecostalism.

    Both learned early on that God had given both the ability to make the girls faint and heaven fall at the same time.

    They took different roads…Jerry Lee became a wealthy rock icon and Jimmy spent twenty years staying in church basements with his mean wife.

    Jimmy believes to his core…but living what you believe is hard with the girls and heaven making such noise…

    I haven’t done a great job being me.

  60. Michael says:

    I’m more like Jerry Lee…my sanctification is more due to age, infirmity, and a lack of opportunity…

  61. Nathan Priddis says:

    Michael, I’m intrigued by your description of Francis Swaggart. I know nothing of her, but just by her mannerisms I guessed her to be a matriarch. Jimmy came across like a really tired man. I met teenage girls that just where enthralled with Jimmy

  62. Em says:

    Not being a man, i can’t guess what it would be like to have pretty young girls going gaga over you and letting you know that they were “willing.”
    But i do know that God honors confession and repentance, so…
    Did J. S. confess and repent? Not being an emotional pentecostal, myself, i think i heard that he did, so….. “go and sin no more” … hope it went that direction….

  63. Em says:

    Michael @ 10:15. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Hmmmm…,..
    Sometimes God does give us what we need….

  64. Michael says:

    Nathan,

    Francis is about as cold and manipulative as she can be…life was very hard for them for a long time and she carries her own wounds.
    Jimmy was probably sexually abused as a boy…there is a lot of darkness in the family line.

  65. Michael says:

    Em,

    He’s probably confessed and repented of things he didn’t even do…remember that these folks grew up believing that going to see a Gene Autry movie was a damnable offense…

  66. Michael says:

    Em,

    Yes, indeed He does… ๐Ÿ™‚

  67. Em says:

    Geme Autry an offense to God? Whrn we were kids we called him Green Arteries….. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  68. bob1 says:

    I remember in the early 70s (Grandpa here) when I first had a “born again” experience. I was probably 17 or so. I found a Xn bookstore in my area. I bought and devoured all kinds of pamphlets from the “Back to the Bible” folks. They were focused on appropriate Xn behavior for Xn youth (Danny Orlis, etc.). I remember that the pamphlet writers were really down (opposed to) teens playing cards and TV was also very questionable. Movies definitely out of bounds.

    Would love to see some of those pamphlets again. Fortunately, I didn’t follow them and wound up marrying a woman who majored in film studies.

    Seems like another world now…things were a lot more naive back then.

    Legalisms like what I read do provide a sort of comfort, I guess…also very restrictive and not very conducive to spiritual growth and discernment, IMHO.

  69. bob1 says:

    I should add that they served a good purpose for me, at the time.

  70. Ruben Ilagan says:

    Why all the fuss about a small piece of cloth or paper on your face? It’s so stupid to me.

  71. Babylon's Dread says:

    Mt 27:45ย Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46ย And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, โ€œEli, Eli, lema sabachthani?โ€ that is, โ€œMy God, my God, why have you forsaken me?โ€

    Three hours of impenetrable darkness… 2000 years of glorious light

    Good Friday to you all.

  72. Michael says:

    BD,

    To you and all of our readers as well…

  73. Em says:

    I am glad that there is now a trend to call Easter Sunday Resurrection Sunday, but….
    Why do we commemorate the day of ur Lord’s crucifixion by calling it “Good” Friday?

  74. Donna says:

    I had posted on FB that I believed the vaccine was an answer to prayer, that I believed that there were men and women of God that helped in creating it. My first response was from a dear sister who sent me JD Farag videos claiming it was mark of the beast. It broke my heart because I know she did it out of love for me-I couldn’t watch them all the way through. I’ve had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine and I am grateful.

  75. Muff Potter says:

    Jesus of Nazareth was and is the nexus of all creation.
    All worlds, all dimensions, all everything.
    When he died on the cross, light itself was the first to go, a pitch blackness that began to radiate outward.
    The fabric of reality itself began to fray and unravel.

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