Monday, September 23, 2013

Using the Same Old Liturgy All the Time

Novelty, simply as such, can have only entertainment value. And [Christians] don’t go to church to be entertained. They go to use the service, or, if you prefer, to enact it. Every service is a structure of acts and words through which we receive a sacrament or repent or supplicate or adore. And it enables us to do these things best (if you like, it "works" best) when, through long familiarity, we don’t have to think about it. As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don't notice.  Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling.  The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.  But every novelty prevents this.   It fixes our attention on the service itself, and thinking about worship is a different thing from worshiping. 

C. S. Lewis
in Letters to Malcolm
(partially quoted in Jan Karon's
A New Song, page 254)

And this would be the explanation for something I find in my own life.  Once I say "we beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord" while the rest are praying "we implore you to hear us, good Lord," ...

or I say "conceived by the Holy Ghost" when y'all say "conceived by the Holy Spirit," ...

or I sing "go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way" while the others sing "go before the Lord to prepare His way," ...

that clash in wording
(or even focusing on the words
so that I am able to say what y'all say)
means I stop praying
and "think about praying."

Today's Laugh

I told a chemistry joke....

There was no reaction.

stolen from Melody

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Computer Fix

I think I fixed it!

Loads of old programs were wiped out and not re-installed.  I even figured out how to delete the back-up file that was space-hogging after I'd re-installed everything.  (Okay, so some of you are shaking your head at the simplicity of this.  Shhh!  I am proud of myself.)  The computer moved a whole lot faster after I ditched everything and put it all back.  But when I got rid of the back-up file (which the computer self-generated) everything moved much faster yet.  Hot diggity dog!

Now I suppose it's time to get back to housecleaning and yard work and homeschooling and all that other Regular-Life stuff.

In other news, the girls are back from a visit to Texas.
Nathan quit his job at Xerox to start a new job editing.
We've been singing unusually good hymns the last few weeks.
Maggie started volunteering at school again, a fabulous experience.

Philip took a brief trip to Canada just for fun.
Brewers game and tailgating with some friends this week.
The strawberry bed has been undone and planted to grass.
Two APT plays so far this year, and two still on the docket.
Olivia went to college (nearby) so Andrew is gone more.
Maggie and I joined Curves so that she can get in shape.
Now that the computer is fixed, maybe we can turn our attention to the water situation next.  It's getting funny how the gals at the grocery store expect to see us every day for water refills.
It's been nice to hear several other adults in the last week or so say that at 9:00 they're getting ready for bed.

Don't Look Back

So this fellow wants to follow Jesus.  But first he wants to say bye to his family.  Jesus says that no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:57-62)

But when Elijah told Elisha to follow him, Elisha wanted to hold off long enough to say bye to his family (1 Kings 19).  And Elijah said, "Go ahead."

That always seemed oddly inconsistent to me.

But recently someone suggested something.  "No one is fit for the kingdom of God."  No one

What if I can be committed enough?

No one.

What if I can be pious enough?

No one.

What if I can love the Lord my God with ALL my heart and all my soul and all my strength and all my mind?

Oh, really?  What if you can? 
Let's see how that goes for you....
(In other words, no one ....)

What we see in Elisha is that God (through Elijah) is patient and giving.  God understands our weakness.  And He forgives it and bears it.  And He chooses us even though we --in ourselves-- are not "fit for the kingdom of God."