Showing posts from June, 2012

How Do We Commune with Memories That Bring Life?

I grew up in the Deep South, and it was common for people to talk about the Civil War as if it was a current event rather than an event well deep into our nation's history.  Granted for some old timers, it had not been that long ago, and they and certainly their parents had felt its influence.
The memory of this war produced a wide range of effects.  A person could have nostalgia for a romantic version of the South that never existed, and others a sense of inferiority with a need to prove their worth to a larger nation.  
I am not wise enough to know the place of such memory, nor how they should affect our present.  In fact, as a nation we are not alone in this behavior.  Other older nations can often hold onto and live in the presence of memories centuries old.  
These memories do exist and we are wont to continue to live in them.  For not only do the positive memories our life and ancestors shape us, those memories that are less than pleasant often force us to live in communion wit…

9 Ways to Stay Awake During Church: From Sleepy to Sober

Below you will find a link to my latest post on OCN's Blog the Sounding.

Originally, I put this together as a ten minute talk for our local youth group.  They got to be my guinea pigs, and no one fell asleep during the talk so I took it as a good sign.

9 Ways to Stay Awake During Church

Are We Creating a Present for a Positive Future?

Think back to childhood and dredge up some good memories.  For me, my best memories as a kid have nothing to do without getting things.  In fact, I can't remember many birthday or Christmas gifts, but I do remember moments.  
I remember being in the front yard shooting cans out of the air with my dad.  I remember the mountain vacations with no TV to entertain, but being left to wander around the cabin and explore with my parents.  We bumped into old-timers with crazy stories, panned for gold, and rafted in whitewater.  
I rarely remember a lecture or instructions the adults in my life gave (not that they were not important), but I remember experiences:  a Sunday School teacher taking our class on a prison tour, a high school coach letting me hang at his house, or my father shuffling me through plowed fields looking for Indian relics.  
I am sure the lectures and teaching shaped my soul, but it's the meaningful experiences that let me slip back in time.  
Memory allows us to commun…

Journeys of Faith - A Review

Recently I received a copy of Journeys of Faith: Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Anglicanism.  It was written by Robert Plummer, a professor at Southern Seminary in Louisville.

Journeys presents the stories of conversion from one segment of Christianity to another.  These are not jumps between denominations, but leaps from the Protestant Evangelical world to Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Anglicanism with one story in reverse of a cradle Catholic moving into Evangelicalism.

The book was setup in a wonderful format.  A person presented his story, then another would kindly refute the reasons given for leaving the former tradition, and the story conclude with a rebuttal on the part of the convert.

The arguments were usually vigorous, but done in a spirit of love, so you didn't feel like you were on a religious O'Reilly show.

As one who left Evangelicalism, I felt a kinship with most of the stories, but felt the refutations never got to the heart of the convert…