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We Attend Church Not Primarily As Consumers To Experience A Product, But As Worshippers To Exalt God And Edify His People (via Matt Merker)

In an age and a culture that expects polish and encourages perfectionism, the tendency to import these values into worship is at best seen as a ‘bait and switch’ tactic of appealing to the non-Christian’s expectations in order to introduce them to Jesus.
There is a legitimate aim in that desire.
But unrelenting exposure to that culture must shape and form the values and expectations of Christians eventually.
If the medium is the message, what does ‘professional’ standard worship in a darkened room shape.
From Matt Merker:

We live in an age of production. We’ve learned to value and expect polished professionalism from the various interactions that make up our daily lives, from the television shows we watch to our “customer experience” at the local Starbucks.
I call these expectations “consumer intuitions.” They’re not necessarily bad or wrong. But we must beware lest we let these intuitions dictate how we approach church gatherings. We attend church not primarily as consumers to experience a product, but as worshipers to exalt God and edify his people.
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Of course, I’m not saying that we should aim for mediocrity in our church services, or that pastors should encourage members to serve in areas in which they’re obviously not gifted. My point is not for us to pursue clumsiness, but merely to embrace it when it occurs.
And I’m not against “excellence” per se. It simply depends on what we mean by excellence. Yes, it honors God to serve him with our whole heart. Doing all things for his glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) means stewarding our God-given gifts as well as we can. It means resisting sloppiness. Church musicians would do well to emulate the Levitical singers who were renowned for being “skillful” (1 Chronicles 25:7).
Pursuing excellence in serving, facilitating, and accompanying the worship of God’s people is one thing. But if by “excellence” we mean professional-level production quality, I fear it reveals that our consumer intuitions have snuck into our churches.

Read the whole post at Desiring God.


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He Had Vision, The Rest Of The World Wore Bifocals – Farewell William Goldman

William Goldman, author both the book and movie versions of The Princess Bride has died.
You may also remember him from such other movie screenplays as Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and All The President’s Men, among others.
I want to say his death is ‘inconcievable,’ but perhaps that word doesn’t mean what I want it to mean in this context.
When a great storyteller is gone there stories remain to be told again and passed on to others.

And, thanks to William Goldman, every time I conduct or attend a wedding, regardless of what I’m actually saying or doing, these are the words that are actually echoing in my mind.


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How To Pluralize And/Or Add Possessive Case To Last Names (via Mental Floss)

This Mental Floss article links to an article on Slate about how to pluralise surnames, and then refers to some other posts that deal with how to add apostrophes in order to indicate possessive case for surnames.
Plural and possessive, they’ve got that covered too.
Just in time for the end of year and Christmas seasons.


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Clint Eastwood Reading Modern Praise Song Lyrics (via Lutheran Satire)

This video revisits the old ground of modern versus classic expressions in song lyrics, but how can you pass up the idea of Clint Eastwood in full curmudgeon mode reading modern praise lyrics.
It had me at ‘oh I feel like dancing, it’s foolishness I know’.
And before you think that I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever is too old, a couple of newer ones get a run too.
Sadly, no sloppy wet kiss.
That would just be beyond satire.


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Mother And Son

Mum’s been having a tough time lately.
We’re spending a few days close at hand.


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Weighted Mind by Sierra Hull

This version of Sierra Hull performing her song Weighted Mind turned up on YouTube.


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Marvel Remembers Stan Lee

This video is Marvel’s tribute to Stan Lee.
The take-away line is that Lee’s greatest creation was himself, the public persona of Marvel Comics.
That may detract a little from Lee’s contribution as co-creator, plotter, and scripter.
It also brings into focus how his public persona served to eclipse those whose creative contributions were at least as significant as Lee’s.
Look up Jack Kirby’s creation ‘Funky Flashman’ if you want an acerbic personal point of view about Lee’s public personality from the 1970s.
Anyway, this video highlights what Lee did contribute, which was himself.