Friday, March 2, 2012

Texas Independence Day

The Unanimous Declaration of Independence
made by theDelegates of the People of Texas
in General Convention at the town of Washington
on the 2nd day of March 1836.

It was 176 years ago today the Texas declared its independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas.  Texas is the only state that went from being an independent republic to a state.

I am flying the Texas flag at my  house here in Bellemeade Kentucky. You can take a Texan our of Texas but not the other way around. My darling and I are Texans in exile.

Happy Texas Independence Day 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Faith is Personal – Religion is Corporate

Faith is Personal – Religion is Corporate

I have a deep personal spiritual relationship with God. My first spiritual experience with God was overwhelming and powerful. After that day I had not doubt what so ever that God exist. Since that time my personal devotions have been the source of my strength of faith and life.

I believe that faith is a very personal thing that is internal, spiritual, and beyond logic. When one’s spirit is in contact with the Holy Spirit organized religion does not matter any more. Prayer then is the faith experience that matters most. To commune with God one to one is the essence of faith.

Religion is the corporate expression of faith. Any house of worship or religious community be it church, synagogue, mosque or temple is a place for the body of believers to gather and express their faith. The building is only a building and the people gathered are the church. Organizations run by humans have faults and that includes religious organizations.

I need my church as a way of expressing my faith, sharing my faith, and acting on my faith. The church provides me with a way to do ministry for God that I can not do well alone. The church was given to us as a help for our ministry so that we can be taught and in turn teach others.  

Faith is Personal – Religion is Corporate

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A National Church?

I heard Rick Santorum state that he wants to end the separation of church and state. I am not sure he knows what that really means but perhaps he does. Separation of Church and State has never meant that people of faith can not participate in government as Santorum has stated.

The ending the separation of church and state would necessarily involve the establishment of a “National Church” that would be the official American church. An example would be the Roman Catholic Church in Italy. We have over 350 Christian denominations in the United States plus all of the non-Christian religious groups and I wonder which church Santorum would establish as the National Church?

Would it be the church that he and his family belongs to, the Roman Catholic Church? What would it be like for that church to be the National Church? For that matter what would it be like for any denomination to be the national church? I am not in favor of any of them including my own Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

We are all much better off with the separation of Church and State. This includes all religious groups are better off with separation from the state. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

After I Die

I am near the end of my seventh decade of living on this earth and I know that I am at least half way to the end if not more. At some point I will breathe my last breath as we all do. My spirit will return to God and I will not be in the shell that is left behind. What then?

Recycling has been an important part of my life and in that philosophy I have listed myself as an organ donor for over thirty years.  So what ever can be used to enhance the lives of others should be. I have reached an age when not everything is in a condition to be recycled but it can be used for research and that is OK with me.

What ever is left over should be burned and my ashes recycled into the earth to provide new nourishment for plants. If there is something of me that must be buried and forgotten it is my faults and sins. Let them rest!

If I have lived my life in such a way that you wish to remember me you should know that I have believed in paying forward. If I have blessed you remember that and bless others that cross your path. I know that which is really me will live with God forever and the memory of my life will live on in the hearts of those people whom I loved. I am at peace with that!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It Is In the Bible

At the Ash Wednesday service a group did a dramatic reading of a modern translation of the Sermon on the Mount. The reading was lively and really caught people’s attention. Two things happened after the service that brought to mind how little most people read and understand scripture.

The first incident happened right after worship was over. One young woman who had been reading from the script asked a pastor’s wife, “That was good who wrote it?” She replied, “Saint Matthew.”

The second incident happened in the pastor’s office a bit later. Three people, who should have known better, took exception to the part in the reading about divorce. They were told to get their bibles and read the Sermon on the Mount for themselves. The next morning the pastor received an apology from one of them. It seems if Jesus said it they couldn’t complain.

For a church that prides itself on being a people of the book we still have a lot of biblical education to do. I guess that dramatic reading accomplished some of that education. 

I better keep teaching my Basic Bible Study.