End of an Era

Tonight is the end of an era.  It is with some sadness that I retired two of my previous blog sites but not before transferring the contents over to here.  I started blogging on Blogger’s platform and at one time had three different blogs.  I had a lectionary blog, which I quickly merged with Virginia Transplant.  This past spring, when I moved over to WordPress, I merged my sermon blog with Reflections from the Southside.  Both Virginia Transplant and Sermon Cafe Roundtable have been dormant since early spring, so I thought I would finally retire them and delete them since all the informtion was here anyway.  In doing so, I also took the links to those blogs off my blogroll.

The Blogger platform served me well in the early days, and WordPress keeps on upgrading, so now that I’m familiar with this platform, I’ll probably stay here.  Good bye old friends.

Best Out of Office Replies — Friday Fun

Thanks to Greg over at Church Video Ideas for this:

Best Out of Office Replies by Jeremy Wright

1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.

2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all.

3. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from vacation on 4 April. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.

4. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.

5. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and trysending again.

6. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system… You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

7. I’ve run away to join a different circus.

*** I don’t know about you, but I’ve needed a laugh lately. So what can you come up with? Got a number 9 and 10 reply?

The Reformation

Today in 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 Theses on the door of Wittenburg Castle Church.  Those these sparked a revolution in the church.  There was all kinds of abuse happening in the church and Martin Luther sought to reform the church from within.  When he became too dangerous to the power structure of the church, they threw him out and even tried to kill him.

Some may wonder why I even bring this up.  I heard a quote not too long ago about the church:

A church without a history, is a church without a future.

Another quote that goes along with that is: Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

I live in a house full of history buffs.  Pam loves history and so does Rebecca.  She especially loves church history.  This morning on Facebook her status reflected today’s significance.  There are times that the church likes to conveniently forget its history.  But we can’t do it.  We find ourselves making the same mistakes over and over again.  It was interesting to be in Roanoke a few weeks ago with Dr. Bob Black, who taught us about eccesiology, or the study of the church.  What is the church’s mission?  How has that played out historically?

Several things came about as a result of Martin Luther’s protest.  First, there was a return to scriptural authority — sola scriptura.  Then there was the “radical” concept of “salvation by faith by grace alone”. I love how Dr. Black dealt with the tension of a corporate church – the body of Christ and yet a personal faith.  Luther also brought to us worship services in the common language — everything had been in Latin up to that time and it was not a common language anymore.  So the people just observed worship.  He brought back congregational singing — singing and musicianship had been given completely over to the professionals.

Martin Luther was a reformer — he didn’t set out to cause a revolution — he didn’t set out to start a new church or the churches that followed it, but he wanted to be a man of God — who followed the scriptures.  In our own tradition, we have those who never set out to part from the churches they were part of.  John Wesley never intended to start the Methodist Episcopal church.  He wanted to reform the church from the inside, but was kicked out.  Orange Scott never intented to start the Wesleyan Methodist Connection, but was kicked out of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  These men understood that the church should always be looking at its mission in light of scripture.  That’s a great thought.  How are we doing?  How is the church doing with its mission in light of what scripture tells us?  Blessings…

Reflections on the Phillies 2nd World Championship

The year was 1980 and the Phillies were wearing powder blue jerseys on the road (like the ones on the left.)  In two previous appearances, the Phillies had only won a single game. (1915 vs. the Red Sox)  The Phillies took this series in 6 games.  The Phillies have gone to the World Championship twice since then losing to the Orioles in 1983 and BlueJays in 1993.

This year’s foe was the Tampa Bay Rays.  I’m really glad the Phillies wrapped it up at Citizens Bank Ballpark.  Who knows what would have happened if they would have returned to Tropicana Field.  The last time the Phillies won the series:

  • I was a senior in high school.
  • Their home stadium – Veteran’s Stadium – was only ten years old and state of the art.

What else happened in 1980? (via Wikipedia)

  • February 22 – The United States Olympic Hockey Team defeats the Soviet Union in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics, in the Miracle on Ice.
  • May 9 – In Florida, a Liberian freighter named the Summit Venture hits the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, sending 35 people (most of whom were in a bus) to a watery death as a 1,400-foot section of the bridge collapses.
  • May 18 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 and causing US$3 billion in damage.
  • May 21 – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is released.
  • June 1 – The Cable News Network (CNN) is officially launched.
  • October 31 – The Polish government recognizes Solidarity.
  • November 4 – U.S. presidential election, 1980: Republican challenger and former Governor Ronald Reagan of California defeats incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter in a landslide victory, exactly 1 year after the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis.
  • November 21 – Millions of viewers tune into the U.S. TV soap opera Dallas to learn who shot lead character J.R. Ewing. The “Who shot J.R.?” event is a national obsession.

How time flies.  It was interesting having to watch the hometown team with national announcers.  I really, really miss Harry Kalas and Ritchie Ashburn.  I thought it was cool that following the end of the game, they replayed the last pitch with Harry the K (as he is known in Philadelphia) making the call.  It brought back great memories as a kid watching on tv and listening on the radio (does anybody do that anymore) to Kalas and Ashburn call the games.  I also remember the great dissapointment when we found out in 1980 that the game would be carried on the local Phillies affiliate, the game would not be called by the local announcers, but by the national feed announcers.  From what I understand, Major League Baseball has changed its policy.  It would be great to hear Harry Kalas call a game again.  He has a great voice and understanding of the game.

One other interesting fact is that the last time the Phillies won a World Series was also a leap year.  🙂

Because we live out of town, most of our Phillies baseball watching is limited to the post-season and what a great post-season it was.  Congratulations to the Philadelphia Philles — 2008 World Series Champions

World Series Champions

Just a few minutes ago, the hometown Phillies wrapped up their second world championship.  The last time we celebrated a championship was when I was in high school.  I probably plan on wearing my Phillies cap tomorrow.  I wore it all day Tuesday.  It was a great post season for the hometown team.

Mosaic Update

Feeling alot like fall today.  It’s suppose to warm up starting tomorrow.

Tonight was our annual Fall Festival.  We changed it up tonight moving it Wednesday night during our regular Mosaic time.  I had a deal with the students last week, that if they could get 40 including adults, I would take a pie to the face.

We had 22 students and 11 staff for a total of 33, which is the highest attendance this church year and it’s been a long time since we had 33 on a Wednesday, so I’m excited.  It was a great night of worship, fun, and food.

Now, my attention turns to the Phillies and the World Series.  It’s all tied in the top of the seventh.  Go Phillies!

Discernment

Here’s a great quote from Oswald Chambers: — Thanks to Mark at Revitalize Your Church.

God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.

It always amazes me how we feel that God had given us the gift of discernment to criticize others — because they don’t do things the way we do or they don’t agree with us.  We say they are wrong and therefore we feel God has called us to point out the error of their ways.  This quote by Oswald Chambers reminds us that we need to intercede (pray) for those whom we feel are in error.  Many times what we feel is error is a matter of preference.  I know God has spoke to me quite a bit about this lately.  Will you criticize and complain or will you pray.  The choice is yours.