Winning Words 3/5/13
“The Lord don’t mind what floor you’re shopping on, as long as you’re shopping in his store.” (Unknown) How many religions are there in the world? There are 21 major ones, but the correct answer is probably, “Too many to count.” Michelangelo painted Adam’s finger reaching out to touch the finger of God, or is it God reaching out? I’m comfortable with my religion, but there’s so much more in the “store.” ;-) Jack
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: Sometimes I think the Lord cares that we are "in His store" and what floor were are shopping! As we have been provided varied gifts, it would naturally follow that we would be "shopping" for needs of various types as well. This is good reason for paying attention to what we so often call a "personal" relationship! Following the crowd to the floor where the "specials" and sales are probably won't cut it.////JACK: It pays to be a careful shopper. The highly advertised is not always the best deal. I tend to go where I get the best service.
ROM HONEST JOHN: How do you take the judgmental ism out and retain a sense of urgency? ////JACK: For better or worse, I find that I've become less judgmental. Time (urgency) seems to have a different meaning, too. That does not mean I've given up on judgment and urgency. I just see them from a different perspective.////JOHN: I think you remove the judgmentalism of the human but keep the aspect of judgment from God...which is all over the scriptures....and then you still retain the sense of urgency without becoming personally judgmental...and thus, playing God////JACK: I had a book, "Let Us Play God." I loaned it to a doctor following a conversation that we had. It now occurs to me that he never returned the book. He's probably still playing God.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Interesting quote. There are a lot of different people...so a lot of different "stores". It's interesting how many ways people find to "worship" God. Some of them are very different! ////JACK: When we believe in the ONE God, that means that there is ONE store, with many floors. There is the possibility, with "free will," that someone might decide not to shop in that store.
FROM CZB IN COLORADO: Can the store include non-christian religions? Just wondering what you think.////JACK: I don't want to tell God how to run his store. But I do believe that God loves his creation, which means that there would be floors open to everyone. I can't envision a store with a sign on the front, saying that someone is forbidden from entering.////CZB: I agree! My store could be different, depending on the geography...
FROM ILLINOIS LIZ: who's to say who's right? hence, freedom of religion. i find it disgraceful when people denigrate/ridicule any religion or a person's lack of belief... cuz who really knows?////JACK: So, who's doing that? Not me.
FROM WATERFORD JAN: Is your comment about going to the store where you get the best "service" an intended pun, or did it just pop right out?////JACK: No, that was intentional. In "the store," some people move from department to department depending on the service. They may also take the elevator to a different floor. A good store owner knows his clientele.
FROM WALMART REV: The chorus that comes to mind is, “Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand; But I know who holds tomorrow And I know who holds my hand.”////JACK: There are some churches where people hold hands when they pray the Lord's Prayer. Do they do that at your church? What does hand holding signify to you?////REV: Sometimes we will break up in circles around the sanctuary and hold hands in circles...I prefer that used with folk I know...some visitors will feel uncomfortable when we do that and I certainly understand... I've found it very comforting with family, friends and families at preservice time at funerals.
FROM BF IN MICHIGAN: Amen!////JACK: That sounds like an old-time Baptist response, to me. ////BF: You know it so well!
FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS: Have you seen or read Life of Pi? The book focuses much more on religion and his relationship to the divine than the film ever could…////JACK: I've heard of it, but have not read the book or seen the movie. I'm going to check it out. There's alot of talk these days about people being spiritual, but not religious. I happen to believe to believe that the two can go together. But some people insist on putting up roadblocks. ////BBC: Please treat yourself to the read. It’s 100 small chapters. I read it aloud to both of the children when they were young even tho it’s an adult book. Pi becomes Hindu, Muslim and Christian and does not want to choose between them. I think he carries his faith (as well as his love of spicy cuisine) into his difficult journey. Obviously inner faith and the aromas of various home made dishes do not translate to the screen. At all.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Having been a shopper and having felt the self-examination when others shop and keep on shopping (this has happened after I settled down and stopped shopping) I wonder how many along the way were praying for me and sad when I left. The way I feel now when others leave the floor that I believe and think has such great, awesome, eternal and powerful spiritual value.////JACK: Comparison shopping isn't all bad.////SHARON: Tom Ehrich has a great insight. The thing must be to discern one's one-on-one situation and personal relationship with God deep-down truly and not get bogged down in a community of relationships where people are worried about paying for the maintenance and upkeep of the building, keeping a Pastor and also keeping the church programs functioning. Have re-thought my previous comment--probably when I write a comment like that it's time to reassess my perceptions and realize all the above are just temporal things and will keep changing over time as they have down through the centuries but pilgrims and disciples of Jesus are all over the place, and stand the test of time more than the building or the stationary. We're all just travelling through.////JACK: There's good and bad in the organized Church. I've met many fine people there that I wouldn't have met "going it alone." My own faith was nurtured in the organized Church.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I shared with my S.S. class last Sunday some thoughts from an article written by Tom Ehrich, a writer and Episcopal Priest: "Pilgrims and disciples of Jesus look at what His debut season was intended to produce. They don't look for the proud and prickly institutions our ancestors created and we perpetuate, not the more than 40,000 denominations that joust for attention and funds, each one convinced of its superiority. But they look for a transformed humanity that's capable of resisting evil, speaking truth to power, treasuring humankind in ALL its forms, and making daily life a better reflection of God's life. But that always requires that there be a new season, not a continuous replication of earlier seasons. It's time for a new script, written and directed by an author who knows more, and loves more than we do..." Worth thinking about!////JACK: Is it possible that there are as many religions as there are people? Isn't God' s relationship with us a one on situation? When I buy something that says, "One size fits all," it doesn't seem to fit the way I like it.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: When I was teaching in California a long time ago, we taught religions of the world in the public schools. Faith is a gift. and we each have to live our own lives.////JACK: My surmise is that few teachers (you excluded) are equipped to teach such a course without prejudice.