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So Say We All (via Reggie Kidd)

A brief article by Reggie Kidd on the power of corporate affirmation, sung and spoken, particularly creedal elements.

“So say we all!” began as a fortunate ad lib by actor Edward James Olmos in his role as Commander Adama during a rally-the-troops speech in Syfy’s series Battlestar Galactica. The line became a communal ceremonial affirmation of humans in their battle against the genocidal Cylons and in their galaxy-wide quest for a new homeland. Whenever I’d hear members of the Colonial Fleet raise the shout on their way to fight the Cylons, I’d recall from the book of Exodus the gathering on Mount Horeb. There, God’s people heard God’s Word and twice roared, “All that the Lord has said, we will do!” as they prepared for the covenantal sacrificial act and the meal by which God and his people bound their lives to one another (Ex 24:1-11).
I have come to love many features of worship with friends who emulate early Christian worship. No feature more so than the way we bridge from the ministry of the Word to the ministry of the Table. Having heard the Word read and proclaimed, we use the Nicene Creed to voice our “So say we all!”…

Read the rest of So Say We All.

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He Said He Was Leaving. She Ignored Him. (via The Week)

A remarkable story about “hearing your husband say, “I don’t love you anymore” and deciding not to believe him. And what can happen as a result.”
From web news site The Week, reprinted from The New York Times.

Laura Munson’s husband never expected her husband to tell her

“I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.”
His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.
He drew back in surprise. Apparently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a custody battle. Or beg him to change his mind.
So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”
Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.
Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”

Read the whole post here.

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Some Questions To Answer As We Plan 2014

A local church exists for ministry and mission.
It doesn’t exist to sustain programs or groupings that began with ministry and mission in mind, but which are no longer capable of achieving that purpose.
As 2013 comes to a conclusion and our thoughts turn to 2014 our planning for next year is not simply to pick up everything that was being done in 2013 and continue on.
Instead we have to be certain that what we’ve been doing is still a viable means to achieve our purpose.

Here are some questions to ask as planning for 2014 continues.
They’re from a post on the Engaging Church blog, based on work by Larry Osbourne.

What is it that drives me crazy?
What are we doing that makes absolutely no sense?
What processes and programs seem to take lots of work, but bear no fruit?
What traditions are we putting up with simply because it has always been done this way?
What is the one problem that if we could solve it, most of our other problems would go away?
What’s broken that seems to be unfixable?
What problems are we living with because everyone says, “That’s just the way it is”?

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The Chemistry Of Cookies

This video explains what happens when cookies are baked, proving that science can be pretty sweet.
Mmmm. Cookies.

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Two Examples Of Unconventional Approaches To Traditional Sports Which Produce Surprising Results

These two reports turned up in my rss reader last week.
One is about Kevin Kelley, a US high school football coach whose team never punts. (along with a couple of other unusual play characteristics)
Even if you don’t understand US football, this is about challenging conventional wisdom by seeing whether statistics back up the reasoning behind traditional practice.
Interesting exercise in thinking.

The second is about Dave Arseneault Sr, a US college basketball coach whose team philosophy is to have fun. With remarkable results.
This report is at ESPN.
A list demonstrating what fun the team style is concludes with:

Before Arseneault Sr. happened on his “system” that everybody in the country seems to think is the end of civilization, >Grinnell had 27 straight losing seasons. Since the 1993 season, when Aresenault installed his current style of play, >they’ve only had four losing seasons. “We wanted to make our gym a place people wanted to be,” Arseneault said. After >Taylor’s 109 points on Sunday, 50 new recruits sent in their tapes.
Which would Arseneault rather have — fun or wins?
“Oh, fun, by FAR,” he says with a huge laugh.


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King Of Kings, Majesty – Sunday Songs

King Of Kings, Majesty is a lovely short song with some quite important imagery.
That line, In royal robes I don’t deserve gets me every time.
I have no idea why we haven’t used it in the mornings at mgpc.
Coming in 2014.

The lyrics:
King of kings, majesty,
God of Heaven living in me,
gentle Saviour, closest friend,
strong deliverer, beginning and end,
all within me falls at your throne.
Your majesty, I can but bow,
I lay my all before you now.
In royal robes I don’t deserve
I live to serve your majesty.
Earth and Heaven worship you,
love eternal, faithful and true,
who bought the nations, ransomed souls,
brought this sinner near to your throne;
all within me cries out in praise.
Your majesty, I can but bow,
I lay my all before you now.
In royal robes I don’t deserve
I live to serve your majesty.
Repeat chorus.
I live to serve your majesty……

Words and music: Jarrod Cooper
© 1996 Sovereign Lifestyle Music (Admin. by Crossroad Distributors Pty. Ltd.)
Here’s a youtube grab from Songs Of Praise where Cooper speaks about the song and sings it himself.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 47

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 47

Chapter 29 – Of the Lord’s Supper Paragraphs 1-4
I. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in his Church unto the end of the world; for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death, the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.
II. In this sacrament Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead, but commemoration of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.
III. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not then present in the congregation.
IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other, alone; as likewise the denial of the cup to the people; worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.