Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
As a response to Christianity’s PR problem, Emergent has clearly blurred the lines between church and world in troubling ways. Given their lack of confessional anchors, some Emergent leaders are likely to depart further from biblical standards, even scandalously so. And while history’s verdict on postmodernism remains outstanding, the movement seems likely to shift and redefine itself according to new categories in the coming years. Nevertheless, an opportunity remains for us to be sharpened and shamed by the important issues they are raising, and to bring the rich resources of confessional Reformed theology to the table, for their good and for ours. As sinners redeemed by the sovereign mercy of God, we have precious treasures to steward. The glory and honor of Christ, and the utter lostness of our neighbors who bear His image, demand nothing less.
HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLICGeneral Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
- The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
- It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
- Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.
By order of
JOHN A. LOGAN,
WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
Listen to these words by Charles M. Province:
"It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial;
And it is the Soldier--who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, and
Whose coffin is draped by the flag--
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
---by Moina Michael
While growing up in Indiana, Memorial Day meant the Indy 500 and the beginning of summer. I never appreciated the history of the day or of our military. Many members of my family served in the various branches of the military and many of those saw action. Yet, no one talked about it much, so I never understood the meaning of the holiday.
Four summers ago, I visited Uncle Robert and Aunt Golden on a Sunday. We went to the old church the Rhine family had been members of for nearly a century. Aunt Golden fixed us a huge spread of food (there were only 4 of us) and I admit committing the sin of gluttony that afternoon. I hadn't tasted her cooking in about 25 years. It may be a good thing because I would weigh about 400 pounds by now! Anyways, Uncle Robert showed us around the county. We saw the old farmhouse that his parents lived in and he grew up in. That same house is where my grandparents (his sister was my grandmother) were married and my mother was born.
Then he took us to the family cemetary. It is where several Rhines and Merrills are buried. It is in the middle of corn or bean fields (I can't remember) and is kept up nicely by the county. There are some huge oak and elm trees to shade the area. I took several pictures of the plots. Uncle Robert mentioned that the family used to have a picnic every Decoration Day (May 30) at the site and spend the day cleaning the cemetary and replanting flowers. I think I have missed out on that special event.
Then we traveled to some other cemetaries and he showed us graves of Civil War veterans. These names have become heroes in my eyes. I am sure they would say they did what they had to do or what God compelled them to do.
I guess what I am trying to say is that there is more to Memorial Day than racing, eating and summer vacation. Many men and women gave their lives for us to enjoy these things. I ask that you not forget. Thanks Uncle Robert.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
My favorite manager, of course, was Sparky Anderson and he managed both teams to World Series victories. This should be a good series. Go Reds!
This just in...Peyton Manning is retiring. Ok, in eight years, so he says. I am a life-long Steelers fan and have only followed the Colts since they moved to Indy. I grew up in Indiana and there were no NFL teams. I could have followed the Bengals, Cardinals, Bears and Lions. But I always liked Pittsburgh. So when Manning was drafted by the Colts, they were finally interesting to follow. What a privilege to watch one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. For eight more years anyway.
Go Cleveland and Clippers!
St. Arbucks is a Sacred Place
by Greg Asimakoupoulos
It’s communion… of another kind
where caffeine seekers can unwind
to drink in the sweet ambiance
that St. Arbucks provides.
As congregants both young and old,
we’re seated close and thus are bold
to talk of life (latte in hand)
and taste the mystery.
We lift the cup and share our lives
in honest words that aren’t contrived.
And if inclined, we all confess
our failures and our dreams.
St. Arbucks is a sacred place
where those who run the human’s race
can sip the nectar of the gods
awake to what is good.
It is quite sanctuary-like
where mothers and their little tykes
can find a refuge from routines
while seated near the fire.
There are no stained glass windows there
but those behind the “pulpit” care
about the thirst we long to quench
and “preach” through what they pour.
What Cheers was thirty years ago
is now St. Arbucks. Don’t you know?
A church where we are known by name
and feel like family.
Friday, May 12, 2006
God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself, but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory--we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God's counsels, in God's world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.
God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission--I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his--if indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work: I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me--still He knows what He is about.O my God, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I--more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfill Thy high purposes in me whatever they be; work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see, I ask not to know--I ask simply to be used
The title for my blog, Converging Heritage, may raise a question. The more I check into my family history, the more I see how God has worked in each family. As a general statement, you can say that my family's heritage is Christian in nature. This starts with the Hershey family being labeled Anabaptists in Switzerland during the late 1500's and throughout the 1600's. On the other side of the family, the Wootens have a long line of pastors, evangelists and church workers. These heritages have converged to my generation. I hope I understand what it is I am to do with this convergance.
Until next post...