Monday, March 30, 2015

Sister Apple, Sister Pig; Willing Incompatible Worlds...more

Sister Apple, Sister Pig is a new, very creepy children’s book  ...When Lee sees a rosy apple on the highest branches of a tree, Lee asks, “Is that my sister?” Her father replies, “If you would like the apple to be your sister . . . but, the winter is long and you would have to eat her!” Lee exclaims, “Nah! The apple is not my sister! The pigs will eat the apple, but the apple is not my sister!” Then Lee announces, “The pig is my sister!” Her Papa explains, “If you would like the pig to be your sister, be my guest! But will you eat her fried, stewed, or baked?” Lee finally has an answer: “No, the pig is not my sister! Look at the pig’s behind! That is not my sister’s behind!” At a certain point in the story, Lee begins to explain about her sister. “Well, she used to live in Mama and doesn’t anymore. She doesn’t live with us.” Lee’s Papa says, “That’s right, she briefly lived in Mama.” But Lee has more to say, “She lived before me, but Mama couldn’t keep her. Mama says she is a ghost.” At this point, Lee tells her father: “I’m not sad that my sister is a ghost! If you kept my sister, you would be tired, and sad, and mad!”...
Lee's Ghost Sister: An Abortion Storybook

Willing Incompatible Worlds  
To find the words that describe with accuracy the media hysterics involved with Indiana’s passing of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) may be impossible. The sanctimonious moral preening offered via social media from such figures as Apple’s Tim Cook and the historically amnesiatic Hillary Clinton are both laughable and inexcusable for their dedication to spreading flavor-of-the-moment distortions.
Phrases like “License to discriminate” populate social media timelines. Internet memes showing separate water foundations for gays and straights harken back to the days of Jim Crow segregation.

All distortions.

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is substantially the same as the federal RFRA and the RFRAs on the books in many other states—including ones like Connecticut. What passed last week is a bill nearly identical to a bill that state senator Barack Obama voted for when he was in the Illinois legislature....

The Effect of Congregational Singing  ...Worship is a means by which we let Christ’s Word dwell in us. The ‘you’ is plural which suggests that it is not just that the Word dwells in our hearts (although it is that) but that in singing the Word dwells in the midst of our congregation. In worship the Word is to dwell in our midst. We rehearse it together as we are reflecting on God, his nature and his work, and most especially his work for us in Christ.

Paul also here points to the secondary effects of singing in the life of the individual and the corporate body. When we sing in a corporate worship we are reminding others of great spiritual truths. We are addressing God but Paul also sees us in Ephesians as addressing one another. We are saying spiritual truths together and to each other. Our joining in singing is an act of mutual confession and affirmation—we believe these things together and we are praising God together.

This can be of particular encouragement when a Christian comes to church after a particularly hard or discouraging week. We might feel so low and downcast that we have nothing to lift up before God and no ability to turn our attention to God with thanksgiving. Yet the singing of others and our own singing with them may serve to remind us of the spiritual realities of what God has done. It reminds us “I really do believe these things” or “I really do confess them.” As the Spirit works, we may find ourselves feeling again that my hope is in the Lord and it will not be dismayed. Proper worship has the effect of reminding us that we really do not have anything to bring before Him of our own strength or merit. Singing to God in a way that Christ’s Word richly dwells in us is an expression of the grace of God upon which we are all thoroughly dependent...


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