Thursday, July 14, 2016

"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-2, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Top of the morning to you as we embrace the day that God has given to us on this Thursday, July 14, 2016. I was able to watch the memorial service in Dallas for the murdered police officers this past Tuesday. It was live streamed on several news sites. It was a moving ceremony. I was particularly impressed with the words spoken by President George W. Bush. They seemed to strike the right tone and appeared to bring comfort to the families of the fallen. I thought President Obama had some good things to say as well. However, he seems always to use his opportunities to speak as a platform for making political points. That, to me, greatly distracted from the focus of memorializing the slain officers and in comforting those who are mourning their tragic deaths. While I disagree with many of his policies and certainly his world view, I make this point only by way of noticing this habit of making all things a political endeavor. I do not agree with those who spew out hatred for President Obama and his family. I'm not talking about policy differences, I'm thinking about the many horrible things said about him as a person. He is the President. I respect him as the leader of our nation. I often wonder how those hate filled postings square with the poster's testimony as a follower of Christ. I don't think it does anything to advance the cause of Christ. Sadly, after about 20 minutes of his speech, I clicked it off. To me, it was too long and had become somewhat inappropriate. I can say that without hating him as a man, or vilifying his race and color, or engaging in slandering his family. Hey, it's my blog and I can express my opinion. You didn't ask? Sorry. That's what fell out for today.

I often hear people say they post things that other people say and it's really not them saying it. I won't even attempt to explain how that excuse fails on just about every level imaginable. I'm not saying I have never done that myself. But, I do know that when you post something, regardless of its origin, it becomes your own, and me, you, or anyone else has responsibility for its content when we share it. Okay. I've said enough about that for now, let me see if I can come up with a different area of interest to share. Thinking about Christmas, I ran across this little cute account from an Aussie blogger named Mark Conner. ~ "Was Jesus a Swede? (December 21, 2014) Did you hear the funny story about a 5-year-old girl who thought Jesus was a Swede? This cute little girl was helping set the family table one Sunday near Christmas. She stopped for a moment and announced, 'Jesus was a Swede.' More than a little surprised, her mum corrected her, 'Oh, no, dear, Jesus was Jewish. I'll read it to you from the Bible after lunch.' Pensively, she laid out the silverware. Then her face brightened. 'Mummy, I can prove it to you! We sang about it in children’s church this morning.' Triumphantly she sang, 'Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down his Swede head.' Ah, the joys of Christmas carol lyrics. They can be confusing sometimes." ~

That got me to thinking about how traditional Christmas song lyrics can be challenging to children of all ages. Who is Parson Brown? What is figgy pudding? Whatever it is, they will not go until they get some. And what in the world is gay apparel? I won't even try to track down all the lyrics that are sung like they sound to people, not exactly the way they were written. Okay. One quick example I found from a random source: ~ "Silent Night" expresses no opinion on whether Mary was a little on the heavy side. ("Round yon virgin"/ "Silent Night") Thought by many to be "round young virgin," this phrase does appear to be commenting on Mary's shape. But round and young are not coordinate adjectives. Round is short for around, and relates to the previous line: "All is calm and bright/round," — or around — "yon virgin." Yon, a synonym for yonder, means, "over there." In other words, all is calm and bright over there around the mother, who is a virgin, and her child.~ Maybe that's the argument people make about the old hymns of the faith. Today's population seems to be completely unfamiliar with the words and illustrations given in many of these treasured songs. Of course this has become a battleground in many Churches today. I think this quote from, Tyler Braun, a long term youth choir leader is worth consideration: "It is Jesus we are after in our churches. At least I hope so. Plenty of the songs being written today draw us closer to Jesus through lyrics, just as much as hymns do. Hymns are not Canon. Neither are contemporary worship songs." Just so you know, I am partial to Southern Gospel, but, I also know that is my preference, not a mandate from heaven. I might have to make an exception for Victory In Jesus, but, I'll save that for another day. May God bless each one. Amen. .....More later.

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