Things I Think…

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21 Responses

  1. Linn says:

    #9 and 10-Socail media has kept me in touch with a multitude of people I left in South America and put me in touch with old childhood friends. It has also helped me to know how to pray for others, and allowed me to encourage them. i’m picky on posts-if it’s not a good one, I just hide it.

    As to my sanctification, I need to admit that when my neighbor who yelled at me in the street over my politics moved, I was grateful. So, that’s probably I am not making much progress.

  2. bob1 says:

    Michael,

    I always appreciate your musings.

    These are especially rich.

    When I was growing up, after I became “born again” as a teenager, the sins to avoid were things like playing cards, dancing, and other trivial crap.

    Seems to me the conservative church has completely missed the bigger picture — lying, power grabbing and abuse, choosing the financial bottom line over integrity and truth — I now think these are much closer to what makes up worldliness.

    Unfortunately, as you said, it costs something to speak out and take a stand against injustices. So we spend our time nit-picking other believers’ points of view and pointing theological fingers over minutiae.

  3. Pam Kulwiec says:

    We would have never found you if not for social media. Your presence in the World Wide Web was immensely helpful in our ability to come out of our shell shock of what we now all call spiritual abuse. And to learn we weren’t the only ones this had happened to was profoundly comforting. All that to say – I agree with you about social media! ❤️

  4. Michael says:

    Pam,

    You and your mate have been a huge blessing…worth whatever else social media has produced by far.

  5. Michael says:

    Linn,

    I believe that difficult people are intended for our sanctification…and sometimes I’m sanctifying someone else… 🙂

  6. Michael says:

    bob1,

    The tragedy is that there are such divisions in the church to begin with….I have friends on both sides of the political divide who love Jesus more than I do…

  7. Dan from Georgia says:

    (politics free comment here).

    Micheal,

    I’m very fond of you even though we have never met. This is my only social media usage…blog posting. I do follow a few twitter feeds, but those are weather and music-related. Not sure if would have ever connected online if it wasn’t for The Internet Monk page…for some reason I found the PhPx link on that page intriguing and clicked on it, and here we are.

    Regarding rain, I can only tolerate 2-4 continuous days of rain and/or cloudy weather, before I feel down and lethargic. In Minnesota in the summer, most of the rain came at night, so no worries there, but winter was a drag.

  8. Officerhoppy says:

    Regardless one’s political view, or view on eschatology, is Calvinist or Arminian, is anti-vaxer or pro vaccine, wears a mask or doesn’t; believes the last election was stolen or not we are still one. At some point we must push aside our individualism, and for the good of the body, embrace once again the concept us “us”. Jesus taught hi disciples to pray Give “Us” this day our daily bread. Forgive “us” our trespasses. The the task before us is not to quarrel and demand our needs be met but to reflect His grace and love to those who think differently, on political and non essential doctrinal beliefs. .A church full of such people enjoying a “common salvation” is a true, biblical church unified in, and earnestly contending for, the “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Is that too much to ask for (FYI—snarky question)

  9. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Be assured that the feeling is mutual…I’m glad you found us!
    I wouldn’t survive a Minnesota winter…but I loved to watch the Vikings play in it…

  10. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Well said…

  11. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Michael! Yes, watching the Vikings on TV as a puffy young kid in the 1970s play outdoors at the old Met Stadium was classic.

    Thanks for mentioning Matt Redmond and his writings. And amen for him mentioning that the vaccines are a blessing. Somedays I get kinda frustrated in thinking that I have to hide the fact that I got vaccinated, or that somehow that makes me the “bad guy”.

  12. Officerhoppy says:

    Having become a Christian in 1969 and entering the ministry Circa 1990. In that time I’ve seen the ecclesiological pendulum swing from the scriptures being chained to the pulpit to being put into the hands of non scholars like mechanics, ex drug addicts. I’ve see the church swing from small church gathers to the mega church of the late 70’s and 80’. I’ve seen worship go from hymns to simple choruses and church music switching from the organ as the primary lead instrument to the guitar. Coorporate worship was something that invited people to participate in the experience. Now days it seems people are asked to just sit and listen to thee band as they play along to a music track.

    I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of two large churches and one smaller church (450). For me, and others the cry of our heart is for authenticity and simplicity in preaching and corporate worship. I would rather meet in a group of 15 or 20 and worship with a single instrument. Rather that hear another moralistic sermon, I would prefer a more Socratic approach to learning. Rather than file articles of incorporation, with a board, and regular meetings, where the pastor is hired to define and accomplish a mission, I’d rather simply meet with believers. For many, who have kids, this model may not be practical. I get that.. But I ha e the luxury of being retired!!

  13. Shawn says:

    Another great group of reflections.

    #1 I would probably add that maintaining the perception (ruse or facade probably better words). I have found that when it comes to justice we embrace it when it’s scales tip in our favor. Not so much so when they do not.

    #2 I would probably not be so cordial and drop the probably from it.

    #3 Not sure I agree neither am I sure I disagree but I am not an expert on any of it so I keep my opinion/musing to myself.

    #4 Wonderful use of spiritual psychology. The terminology employed is vivid.

    #5/6 Amen! It is better to stick to Scripture than it is current events and a thin veneer of patriotism.

    #7 For me it’s almost the opposite. The sun and heat do me in physically. The clouds and rain invigorate me… unless it is everyday for months on end.

    #8 Another hearty Amen from me.

    #9 In many ways it has been a wonderful place of encouragement a virtual respite from not only the overal madness, which it paradoxically creates, but also extreme isolation even beyond Covid.

    #10 This is one of the worst thoughts the ego/self has to face and potentially one of the most liberating.

    After a really tough two weeks with my health I needed something to stimulate my heart and mind before the tedious tasks of listing, photo-taking, and shipping. I for one am grateful to you for it. Keep on, brother. Keep on!

  14. Michael says:

    Shawn,

    Thank you for the kind words and thoughtful responses.
    It encourages me as much as I hope we do you.

  15. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    You should become an Anglican…we do everything right. 🙂

  16. BrideofChrist says:

    #4 – “Spiritual schizophrenia is serving two masters at the same time” Very, very well said and a sad indictment of today’s evangelical churches!

  17. BrideofChrist says:

    I really was blessed by Officer Hoppy’s 12:09 post exhorting us to remember the bigger ‘Us’ in Scripture – the body of Christ.

  18. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    Who knows? 🙂

  19. jtk says:

    As an evangelist, I’ve had some profound observations on the state of the American church and the behavior of many Americans from some international students.

    One, we as Americans, we are used to KNOWING we can change our nation. The student I know has little to no confidence of that in his poor nation.
    That is a hard pill for me to swallow, but one I think I am slowly accepting.

    Two, several have mentioned how shallow and superficial believers are here. The lack of depth and openness to the charismata are a big stand out, they say.

    I’ve noticed one other international student (or two) doesn’t really want to be a part of a church while they are here, and prefer their nation’s church service so they stay home and watch that online.

    Needless to say, “Christian nationalism” has really been put in some perspective for me.

    And I don’t know how open I was to that a year ago. I’m a big red white and blue guy…

  20. Michael says:

    jtk,

    You can love your country (or your football team) and be a fine Christian…you just can’t conflate the two…

  21. Em says:

    Michael @ 4:59 p! Amen
    I follow a schedule reading some Scripture every am before starting the day…. I don’t hit the N.T. until Friday. As i read the O.T. including the prophets, i am struck by how human nature hasn’t changed over the ages. BUT
    God knows the end from the beginning and more and more i am impressed with His plan. Justification and exposure of rebellion? …. hmmm. . maybe

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