Christian Protestant Worship Services

Leave a comment

On general Protestant* worship services
I’ve been around the block a few times so I am aware of, have attended, and have even led several styles of Christian worship-ritualistic services. The services generally have been derived from two basic groups, free-thinking and authoritarian. The free-thinking are at liberty to put on whatever type they chose and are flexible. The authoritarian are usually pre-set at the behest of some given authority and generally will be the same from place to place although some minor alterations may be allowed. The latter class can be and traditionally have been referred to as liturgical because they follow a set program of liturgy containing a set pattern of leader-community response order of worship. The free-thinking class has been customarily referred to as non-liturgical because changes occur frequently in the order of service but are in fact liturgical in the normal sense of the word. A more exhaustive analysis can be made but you get the idea.

Here is a list of general types of worship services knowing that there are mixtures:
1. High Church, strict liturgy. It is the same basic format on any given Sunday in any area of the particular church where it is an institutionalized. It will normally contain a brief sermon pre-published by the church institution by which the priest or pastor uses as the standard for the week. The scripture has been pre-selected with some commentary and the priest or pastor may add some remarks, anecdotes, etc. Traditional hymns are sung using an organ accompaniment, with choir.
2. General liturgical. The same as #1, with the pre-set scriptures as per a particular denomination or sect or as used by a number of churches. The sermon may or may not follow the scripture text but will be more or less a topical sermon depending on a pre-set theme of the week of the season. Traditional hymns are sung using an organ and/or a piano as accompaniment, maybe an extra instrument and a choir.
3. Independent liturgical. A set order of worship, the same each Sunday but the pastor chooses his own selection of scripture and sermon topic. Traditional hymn with perhaps a more modern non-tradition song, an organ and/or piano and maybe a small orchestra.
4. Modern, non-traditional service with no printed order or worship. However it is usually the same every week as to the order beginning with praise songs and modern Christian songs with a traditional hymn or two with a piano and/or an orchestra or praise band. All music is non-traditional with a small contingent of voices without choir robes. You will not see many suits and ties if at all. It is very casual and members are free to move about, may check their cell phone messages, shoot pix or videos and even carry own individual conversations.
5. Strictly non-traditional. These are the Pentecostalists and free non-Pentecostalists but with an highly emotional tone, referred to by some as holy-rollers. No set responsorials but congregation members can respond as they see fit at any time with shouts of amen, hallelujah, praise the Lord and sometimes dancing about. The preacher will preach his sermon with fervor, There may be some traditional hymns but mostly choruses and modern praise type songs. The services will be the same each week however as the congregation will be in worship mode as usual. An extended invitational period and/or altar call will end the service, sometimes with the laying on of hands and praying with individuals by the elders. Some churches will have a period of anointing with oil for the healing of the sick and the repentance of the broken hearted. Sometimes the term, revival, is used as the members are revived each week with renewed spiritual energy.
6. Military, hospital, prison, and other institutional services may include one or more of the above depending on the chaplain(s) employed to lead the services. In most cases they are shorter and more subdued depending on the institution.
7. Services for INFPs. The service I fit in and prefer. I’ll let you known when I find one.


(*non-Roman Catholic, Greek & Eastern Orthodox, etc)

© 2018. Chaplain Bob Haines
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Death, A Realistic But Spiritual Perspective

Leave a comment

handling the death of a loved one well is a healthful and healing thing.  that’s why we have friends to wrap their arms around us and just be there for us, and sometimes say things to comfort us, some helpful, some not so helpful but mean well. thank God for friends.

the first major death of my life, my own father at age 35, me at age 15. there is some difference between managing death as a teenager and someone who manages death at, say age 40, 50, 60, 70, and beyond. for example it may be the first or second major death, or the 12th or 13th, a father, mother, spouse, or child.  however, it never gets any easier.

there is ample information on the internet and good books such as Kubler-Ross’, On Death and Dying, so i am not going to go through all that about stages of grief, etc. The only thing i really want to mention here is one spiritual dynamic, to wit, that death is a fact and will happen to all of us and our family members and friends and after a reasonable time period, realize that yes, it is over, and move on to a happy and fulfilled future without your loved one. oh, you say that may be a grotesque, unhealthful, and hateful thing to write, but i say unto you that when we face reality squarely and take the necessary time to understand reality, we can then learn to go forwar with out lives with the memories of our loved one, but not living daily in those memories which prohibit the future happiness.

so, if you have experienced the death of a loved one, and you probably have, whether it be in the distant past or recently, let me assure you as others have, that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life as your life is not over ’til it’s over even though your earthly relationship with you loved one is over. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He make His face shine upon you both now and forevermore. amen.

“And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 20:34-36)

“And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 12:22-25)

“For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.” Paul of Tarsus (Romans 7:2)

 

© copyright 2014, 2020
Robert A. Haines, Chaplain Haines
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Chaplain’s Tent

Leave a comment

please like and share my new page. thanks.

Go and Sin No More

1 Comment

There is a meme, in several different forms going around social media that reads, “Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.” Most of the time, it stands alone with simple borders around it, sometimes appears to be a photoshopped church sign, or another image seeking to pitch for a certain audience. I have seen the saying in quotes on two occasions, one attributed to a well-known Christian T.V. personality, the other to a Islamic imam.   I thought that was interesting, but know full well, the creator of those two memes had a particular audience in mind.  Needless to say, it is anonymous, original author unknown.
I’ve seen the meme posted from various web sites and Facebook pages. I do not know where it originated nor do I know the reason why any particular person, group, or organization would post it on their timelines. I do have my suspicion when it is posted by a friend I know, or think I know well, or see its sponsored page from which it was posted.

Now then, the posting of the meme naturally leads me to its subject, to wit, SIN. Next it leads me to the question, “what does my friend, or friend of a friend, believe sin to be?
What exactly do they mean by the word, sin?  That is, what is their definition of sin? Is sin subjective, i.e.. is sin what they, themselves think it is? Or, is there some standard for what sin is? Furthermore, do they think they are sinning in a particular way and are they looking for an excuse to continue to sin? Hey, others sin, so I have an excuse, so don’t judge me for my sin and I won’t judge your for yours. In other words, maybe they are looking for a way not to be judged for their sin at all.

For some people, namely those who grew up in a fundamentalist religious environment but have opted out for a more liberal, live and let live, religious persuasion, maybe they are saying, “it’s okay to sin because everyone does it and if I don’t harm anyone else then it’s okay.” Well, at least they, by using the word, sin, they are recognizing that what they are doing is wrong? All this leads to the opposite of a subjective idea of sin, namely, is there a standard for sin, i.e. a moral code or some statement that defines it. Furthermore, is there a list of sins and even more so, is there a degree of sin by which some are okay and some are unpardonable?  Perhaps sin is, as noted by some Christian theology,  not specific acts, but a way of life, a way of life that separates one from God and, once atoned for sin (not sins), one is forgiven, may do specific sins in the future, but the way of sin, itself, has been forgiven.

As a person who has an academic background in classic philosophy, world religions, and Christian theology, I am aware of many answers to the questions posed above and aware of the many published treatises and commentaries concerning the subject of sin. I am not aware of the current sociological stances concerning (so-called) enlightened Baby Boomers or Millennials in general although, again, I have my suspicions of where they are coming from.

As a proponent of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as portrayed in the traditional four gospels of the New Testament, one specific vignette comes to mind. The recording of the event is found in John 8:2-11 (NIV translation/paraphrase)

At dawn He (Jesus) appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
          But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
          At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin (lit. go and sin no more).”

You can interpret this passage from scripture however you chose. As for me, the first thing I will note is that this is not an inclusive teaching on sin, the consequences of sin, nor to the fact that everyone sins, how to be forgiven or redeemed for sin, and whether or not one is able to be sinless. However it is important to point out that, although Jesus did not condemn this woman, ala the law of Moses, and the standard of punishment for adultery at the time, He did recognize her action, i.e. her way of life, at the time as wrong, and told her in no uncertain way not to do it again, or in other words, “get a life sister.”

Thus, the lesson of this story might be that if you are living a particular way of life that is considered wrong, in this case by Biblical standards, then it’s best to leave it. There’s no excuse that just because others do it, whether condemned by a religious community, or allowed by the civil community, just don’t do it no more because it is sin.*


 

*Sin, or a way of life considered to be sin, perhaps addictive, and depending on the severity of the sin, although forgiven by God when confessed on a religious basis, may be rooted in the psyche for which some degree of psycho-therapy is needed for the cure.


© Copyright May 2016
Robert A. Haines, Chaplain Haines
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On Prayer

Leave a comment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         © 2014, Chaplain Bob Haines.
All Rights Reserved

On Prayer

Are 20 prayers for the same thing “more effective” than one prayer for the same thing?

I’ve thought about that over the past several years and think about it often whenever i see a Facebook post of someone requesting prayer and scads of people respond with, “praying”, “prayers going up”, and similar phrases.

I know that there are some New Testament passages that speak to continual praying, especially praying by the community. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1.11, “you (plural) must help us by prayer . . . ” He wrote in 2 Thessalonians 3.1, “Finally, brethren, (plural) pray for us, . . . ” In Luke 11, Jesus tells the lesson of a friend asking for bread who is told “no” and replies, “I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his continually asking, he will rise and give him what he needs”.  So, obviously the church community as well as the individual is encourage to offer prayers often and to keep on praying.

A friend commented, “When I pray I often feel a call to be part of the solution. I know of others that feel this way. Each of us have different ways we can minister to others needs. The more people that pray, and are willing to be involved in the solution, the better.”
Another wrote, “is it that we like to know that we are not alone in coping with our problems and that others care.”
Okay, then, I get the point but like many theological issues, every proof text must be taken in context and according to general principles when all scripture is considered.

I am tempted to take every scripture I can find and give a brief commentary, but since this is a short essay, scriptures mentioned above aside, I want to just give a few brief comments concerning my experience and thoughts on prayer with relationship to it’s effectiveness.

The immediate response comes to mind as to the context of Jesus’ example (and all other examples) is whether to take that alone in it’s context as a standard Biblical principle to apply in all instances or whether to take it in the context of the entire New Covenant ideas as to relationships and freedom via the Holy Spirit, e.g. whether it is necessary for one person to need as many prayers as possible in a given situation, as opposed to another person whose one prayer, or even no prayer, but inner faith is enough to be effective in the outcome of whatever it is one is requesting or needing. As I said, the entire concept of prayer is theologically complex.   It may seem simple enough, but most simple things are in and of themselves very complex when one begins to examine it. How simple the beauty of a tree is, yet so utterly complex.

One day, during Operation Desert Storm, the battalion commanding officer came to me and said that I should go out to where the units were and do as many services as possible as the ground war was about to begin. It was raining. What was i to do? Well, i could have put out the word for as many Christians as possible should come to my tent and have a prayer meeting and pray for the rain to stop, or I could just think within myself, “Lord make this rain stop.” So i just laid down and freed myself of all thoughts. I KNEW, and don’t ask me how, that God was in charge and that the rain would stop, no question about it. I really didn’t even have to say a prayer at all. When I came to, so to speak, the rain stopped and I headed out. That has been my modus operandus ever since. No need for the mechanics, just do it, i.e. have faith. Now, that’s not enough for the children, I suppose, so they may need those countless prayers, but my mission is to help them understand that the mechanics is not what it is all about, but the inner connection between God and the person that counts as effectivity (just coined a new word).

I had major surgery in 2000 in a Navy hospital. I knew that morning that the chaplain would visit because they are required to visit all pre-surgery patients. I was waiting. So, in a while he showed up, made the usual small talk, and then ask if he could pray with me. I said, “no, chaplain, I’m all prayed up.” Let’s get it on and over with (the surgery). Perhaps i should have been kind enough to let him pray, but it was not necessary and who knows, maybe the words of his prayer might have caused undo anxiety to this poor soul. If he’d started speaking in tongues though, that might have helped even more.

As to reference to the Old Testament temple and other Old Testament viewpoints of the “holy”, etc., God is not now, nor has He ever been confined to a “space”. Nevertheless, in the progression of the Faith, for practical purposes, it may have been necessary in those days to identify one place as more holy than other. It may have been necessary to explain things in spatial terms. in my way of thinking, and I always get in trouble with this one, we should take the Old Testament and it’s teachings, precepts, etc., as a foundation to our understanding of Faith, but not be bound to it. Paul’s letter to the Galatians is a good starting point for my understanding. In fact, the entire Faith can be summed up in only Two ideas, Love God and love others.  Otherwise, any rules will be follow inasmuch as one is attuned the the Holy Spirit of God.

So, suppose a person needs a kidney transplant. Someone prays that a matched kidney will be found. If the person is a mature person of faith, no actual prayer is needed, only faith that God knows best. God HEARS the prayer, right? God WILL ANSWER the prayer right? “The prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” So then, why the need for 19 more prayers that a kidney will be found. Don’t you BELIEVE that God heard the first prayer and will answer? Are we trying to make Him hurry up, or do we really, truly trust Him?

Remember, we are children, in relationship to God, so a continual asking, either by an individual or a group, might be in our interest at some point. But as we mature, we learn that a simple childlike faith is all that is needed in any given situation. But the question might be asked, “Is a lot of time wasted in prayer? Yes. No need to bug God about something He has already settled upon. Just go about His business and when the answer comes, it will come, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. Let it be.

Here a parable: A kind-hearted and good father is intelligent and knows best for his son. One day the son asks for a certain thing knowing that his father would either grant the wish or not. The important thing was the the son trusted the father’s judgement and would await his decision based on faith that the father would do what is right concerning his request.
Another father, just as wise, knew what was best for his son. By all accounts, this son also trusted that his father always knew best, that he would provide for the sons needs. One day he too asked his father for a certain thing. He kept on asking day after day, week after week.
In another situation, a father had 3 sons and they all felt the need for something. He loved them all the same and only wished the best for each or all of them. On some things, however, the father would never listen to nor respond when only one son requested a response, but the chances improved when all 3 sons asked. It seemed like the effort put forth by the 3 sons didn’t really make more of a different than any one son because sometimes the father would respond and other times he didn’t, regardless of who or how many asked.

 

Why Not The Best?

Leave a comment

© copyright Chaplain Bob Haines

2014.  All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

Lt. Jimmy Carter, USN, was interview by Adm. Hyman Rickover concerning his intent to enter nuclear submarine service.  Lt. Carter stated his reason for wanting to enter this elite corps of Naval officers was in the form of a question: “why not the best?” Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia later gave that title to his book.

 

If I had only one message for the church on any given Easter Sunday, it would be to urge it to take a long, extensive look at the New Testament book of Acts. The aim would be to regain the spirit of the early New Testament church.

You want to be the best? Then emulate the best. You want to be the best Lawyer? Find the best and discover the qualities that make him/her the best attorney and seek to obtain those qualities. Maybe you can. Maybe you can’t. It depends on your talents and training.
You want to be the best athlete? It’s the same thing. Of course, you have to practice.
You want to be the best church? Look for the best in the quality — the real essence of what a New Testament church should be.
The best church is not necessarily that it has audio-visual capabilities? It is not if the pastor is paid well nor the personalities of the staff.  It is not whether it worships in a modern, architecturally stunning  building. The best is not even the one with a mega-budget or a very large membership.  These things may be successful from the world’s standards or denominational standards. But if you want to be church of Jesus, by Jesus, and for Jesus, then look at the early church as founded during the New Testament era.

There are several places where one can go to look for examples of the early church but for a good church success story, the book of Acts is a place to begin. The book of Acts, itself, is the story of the first church, or churches moving out from a small group of Jesus’ followers to reach the world with the Good News of God’s Kingdom as they knew it, based on the teachings and life of Jesus of Nazareth.

.
Take a very quick look at an introduction to Acts and you might find a model that can make your church the best it can be — not by the standards of other churches but by standards inherent in the first church.  The story of Acts tells us that God promises to equip His people for the challenges they face in achieving Christ’s mission and that His people, i.e. His church, will be successful in its endeavors

.

What is the story?

 

It is the story of the early Christian church moving out from the Jewish faith and traditions to a universal faith based on the radical teaching of Jesus of Nazareth — successfully. It is the story of a small group of Jesus’ disciples moving to reach a world with the Gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom of God, a kingdom not based on law but grace, not based on punishment, but repentance and forgiveness.

Acts is a follow up narrative to Luke’s first work, the Gospel of Luke. The distinctive features of Luke’s gospel are as follows.  It emphasizes Jesus’ sympathetic attitude toward the poor, lowly, outcast, , Samaritans, publicans, sinners, dying thief, and the like. That is, it emphasizes the pastoral ministry of Jesus.
Luke emphasizes prayer and contains three parables on prayer..
Luke greatly honors women and womanhood. We read about Mary, Elizabeth, Martha, the Daughters of Jerusalem and the widows. One of the distinctive marks of the Christian faith is that everyone is important regardless of gender, age, station in life, etc.

Acts takes up where the gospel of Luke ends. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the church, led by its leaders, takes the gospel to the world successfully without hindrance. Acts puts the gospel of Christ into action, through the combined action of human agency, under the power of God’s Spirit.

It is important that we note the purpose of the book of Acts.  There are different ideas as to its purpose(s). 1. The traditional heading of Acts is “The Acts of the Apostles.” However, the words, “of the Apostles” in not in the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament. There is very little in the book about the Apostles. Matthaias appears only once. John appears early on. Peter is prominent in early chapters. James is in chapter 12. Paul is in the spotlight in 1/2 of the book. Others, not Apostles, are given significant roles in Acts — e.g., Philip, Stephen, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, and Luke, himself. Clearly, it is not the primary purpose to give an “Acts ‘of the Apostles’.”

2. The second idea as to the purpose of Acts is that it is the story of how the gospel spread from Jerusalem to Rome. This is an old approach and is still listed as the purpose in the introductory remarks to Acts in the Oxford Annotated Bible. This is not the primary purpose of Acts. It is not a record of the geographical expansion of the gospel to Rome. It only tells how Paul got to Rome, not how the gospel did.

3. Thirdly, it is not the “gospel of the Holy Spirit” as some commentators have suggested.  The Holy Spirit is very active and it is a dominant theme of the book. However, the Holy Spirit is hardly mentioned in half of the book and is absent in 11 chapters.

Other reasons have been given as to why Luke wrote Acts.  I believe that he primary purpose of Acts is to record the triumph of Christianity. Acts is a success story.

The early Christians, empowered by the Holy Spirit, who makes no distinction in persons, broke down all barriers such as religiosity, racial, national, etc., with a liberating gospel. The gospel broke through all limitations which men sought to impose on it.

The chief purpose of Acts was to show the victorious progress of the gospel of Jesus Christ to give a spiritual freedom to all who accept the gospel — excluding none. In short it was an unhindered gospel.

 

The first two verses of the book, Acts is related to the gospel proclaimed by Jesus in word and deed. Acts is a continuation of Jesus’ ministry, but through His followers. That which is related in Acts has its source in God’s will as made known in and by Jesus.
The acts of the church today must be a continuation of Jesus’ earthly ministry. We need to study afresh the gospels to recollect Jesus’ ministry. Jesus’ ministry is our ministry: to proclaim and teach the Kingdom of God; to feed the poor and hungry (which we will have with us always); to care for the needy; to reach out to ALL people everywhere in love.

As per the third verse, Jesus’ resurrection is the foundation of the gospel. That is why Easter is the major Christian holiday and not Christmas. This is the Good News – Jesus is Alive! Paul said without the resurrection, our faith is in vain.  We no longer experience the resurrection first-hand, with our own eyes. But, by faith, we experience it as Luke’s first readers did. Christ is risen. That is the good news we proclaim.

Verse 4 of Acts reports that here now is the promise of the Father — the Spirit comes in fullness to each believer to do the spiritual work of the church.  (We should note that the Holy Spirit didn’t originate at Pentecost. The Spirit’s work goes back to Genesis 1:2 and has been manifested in certain individuals as reported throughout the Bible.)

Now, however, the activity of the Holy Spirit becomes presence in EVERY believer. Jesus’ Spirit is in ALL Christians not just a select few. God’s Holy Spirit gives you all the authority and power you need.

In verse 5 ,the baptism (water immersion) of John was completed at Pentecost with the baptism (immersion) by the Holy Spirit.  When one becomes a Christian, he/she is indwelt by the Holy Spirit because he/whe has been born spiritually, i.e. of the Spirit. Though one may not always be totally immersed in the Spirit because of the barrier one often places upon himself/herself when he/she acts on their own power and authority instead of the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.

The church today must learn the primary lessons of Acts, the chief one being to allow the Holy Spirit of God to fill it, so as to break down all superficial barriers, so that the gospel can continue to be spread to the uttermost parts of our world.

In the final verse of Acts, 28:31, the final word is the word, unhindered, or without restriction ( Greek, ἀκωλύτως ).

This is the final word in the Greek manuscript of the book of Acts. This word, though overlooked by most commentators, is in my opinion very significant.  The lesson learned is that If the church allows the Holy Spirit of God to be in total control, it will be under the spiritual supervision and management of the God and as a consequence, no man-made barrier will hinder the work or the church.

 

In summary, then the applications of an introduction to the book of Acts leads to the following conclusions

1. The story of today’s church should be a story of the continuation of the Gospel of Christ.

2. The Holy Spirit will move in the lives of the people.

3. The resurrected Christ will be alive.

4. People will hear in their own language as the gospel is shared with those in any area in which it is preached, whether in Judea, Samaria, or to the uttermost parts of the earth. On earth, Christ spoke a universal language. Not everyone can understand a Plato or an Einstein. But all can understand Jesus — the lepers, the blind, the rich, poor, famous, learned, and ignorant. No one needs a commentary to know what Jesus meant when He forgave His enemies while dying on the cross.

 

5. The mission in the life of the church is the mission of Jesus:

* The proclamation of works. His power enables the church to do good works.

* The proclamation of teaching. The world needs to be enlightened with things that pertain to God and His Kingdom.

* Endurance. The church continues to possess a cross to bear, thorns in its side. It may be persecuted as the early church was. But the gospel will be presented no matter the barrier.

 

The firm persuasion of the reality of Christ’s resurrection is the church’s inspiration. He is present in it in the presence of His Spirit giving it power and authority to do the work of God.  It must allow the Spirit of God to break down any walls that would hinder it’s continual progress.

Is It Easter Yet

Leave a comment

© Copyright 2914 Bob Haines
All Rights Reserved

 

(Posted my Easter reflections on Facebook yesterday.  Decided to publish it today, since today is just as important as yesterday to reflect on things that matter.)

 

to those of you who celebrate Easter today, Happy Easter.
the liturgical color, of course, is white.

some of you are right now at a Sunrise Service. oh, i remember as a kid having to wake up early and head out. one time we had one at a friend’s place on a small lake and i thought that was neat. i did one on the beach at Mayport one year and the wind was blowing in off the ocean and it was quite cold. the choir decided to just sing one song. i was the speaker and condensed the message down to a basic outline. my poor RPs had to set up.

 

when i was a kid, the custom was to have an easter egg basket when you got out of bed, but the problem was it was hidden and you had to find it. i though that was rather stupid then and i still think it was stupid, but the parents, you know they know what is fun for the kids. just give me my friggin’ basket!!!


we also always got a new easter “outfit”. ahh all the ladies and girls with their new white dresses. i had to wear a necktie. as George Carlin would have said, F – T – S!!! all my red neck friends would call me “preacher”. OMG i hated that with a passion.


it was Easter and later on we would have an Easter Egg Hunt. under the direction of our parents, we would “color” the eggs — that was kinda fun (& messy) because you could be creative.


as a kid, i was, for some reason very sensitive to sermons. don’t know why. and i was always wondering why things in the real world didn’t seem to coincide with what the Bible said and what the preacher said — you know things like racial segregation (love?) and easter eggs (resurrection?).


well thru the years i went along with the status quo, had to make a living, so go with the flow. always have a Christmas kids party and church with Santa Clause. if you piss too many people off, your life becomes miserable because they want to be in charge of your life because anyone making waves would impact their lives and you want everyone to be happy and safe together.


well, thank God, we now have a retirement system that frees the individual to be himself, and i can celebrate the central idea of Easter without having to celebrate it — you know, i can do it the way i want to which means, to me, that everyday is Easter.


now i just hope the Social Security Administration doesn’t declare me dead before i die as they did to one man i saw reported on the news this mornings — not once, but twice!

Older Entries