Christian Carnival CLXXVIII

Christian Carnival 178 is up at … Chasing the Wind! I have the honor of hosting this week’s carnival, affectionately known as Christian Carnival 178, 2^89th, hexadecimal B2, or binary 10110010. Whew, and I think there were almost that many entries.
🙂

They’re presented here in roughly the order submitted; if you’re a blog author and you don’t see you entry, I’ll be happy to modify the list below. I had to exclude 1 entry from this week’s Carnival; while “positive” in nature, it didn’t represent a Christian viewpoint. And I excluded two humanistic, scientific anti-Christian blogs for obvious reasons.
😛

if you’re a visitor and curious about Carnival entries, click on a few and read this week’s best Christian blogging.

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Bread and Milk

I found some memories today, tucked back in a corner somewhere.

I’ve been trying to lose weight, and working on portion control. It’s the Nutrisystem, and it’s been good so far. Not dramatic results, but a pound lost each week is healthy. This morning for my carbohydrate, I had a slice of wheat bread, and for my protein, I had a glass of milk.

And ate them together. My grandfather used to tear bread slices into 2″ pieces and soak them in a glass of milk, then eat them with a fork. Bread and milk together has a unique taste, not found in either bread nor milk alone. I was surprised to find they tasted a memory of my grandfather.

My grandfather was active in community, active in church, and taught bible study for decades. In all the time I knew him, I never heard a single harsh word from him. He had umpteen opportunities to do so; as an active kid with a slingshot, I probably provided plenty of them. But never did he speak an unkind word that I heard.

Thank you, Oh Lord, for the memory today. My grandfather was a wonderful, patient, kind man of God, and I thank you for the time I had to know him while he walked this world. He is still an example many years later of your light shining through men.

Prayer for Patience

I received this via email, original author unknown, but it’s a powerful prayer:

Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

Brother Michael

It was a special blessing this past week. I am not a pastor (nor do I play one on tv), but 2 weeks ago my nephew eloped. To who? When? What do we know about her? The angst was carved into tiny slices and digested by all.

The family decision was made – they’re just going to have to get married again, this time with family present. The wedding will be in a week, and my brother, the renegade boy’s father, started gathering his research notes for his new book, “How to Plan a Wedding in Four Days for Under $20”. Wednesday, my brother called me casually and mentioned no church was available. They would get married in the local park.

“That sounds nice,” I said.

“We also can’t get a pastor on such short notice,” he said.

There was a nice long pause here. What was he trying to say?

After discussing it with my pastor and making sure I wasn’t breaking any laws or anything, I agree to perform the re-wedding ceremony. It dawned on me halfway through that at most weddings, the pastor tells everybody what to do, and everybody kept looking at me, wondering when I was going to get bossy. When I realized that was my job, I got bossy.

The wedding was beautiful and went off with …1…2… 3 hitches, I think. Maybe 4 if you count the elopement. Here’s a pic of the happy couple with the self-ordained pastor:
Brother Michael performs a wedding ceremony

Christian Carnival CLXIII

This week’s Christian Carnival is up, and it’s being hosted this week… here, at Chasing the Wind!

I’ve decided to categorize the entries this week into posts about Jesus, posts about our relationships, and posts about us. Jesus tells us we are to love him and love our neighbor as ourselves, and that reminds me all three of those categories are important. So love should bring you J-O-Y if you love Jesus, Others, You. All three, and in that order. 🙂

J

O

Y

The Prayers of the Sinner

I had dinner with some friends from church last night, and one of the more learned friends made a statement that at first I objected to, but the more I think about it, the more validity it seems to have. My question:

Does God hear the prayers of the unrepentant sinner?

In my own walk to faith in Christ, God answered a specific prayer in a miraculous way so that I could not misinterpret it. As I had not yet given my life to Christ, I assumed God answered it as He saw the path it would lead me.

My friend points out that “no one get through the Father except through me” that Jesus says is part of the New Convenant, so even if I could find an OT example of God answering a prayer, it would count. God cannot abide sin and sin hides the face of God from us, so God doesn’t hear our prayer until we ask Jesus into our lives.

And what about my answered prayer? My friend contends that God answered it because *others* prayed for me, and God knew exactly what I needed. So he answered the prayer not because He heard me, but because in His omniscience, He knew what I needed.

What do you think? And what scripture backs up your opinion?

Dressed for Success

There’s a perfectly rational explanation why I’m walking down a busy Houston street on Father’s Day with green Mickey Mouse socks and a bright yellow acrylic purse with bananas on it.

When I woke up Sunday morning, the wifely one was already up. Insomnia, you see. So at 8:00am she finally went to sleep. I decided it was a good idea not to wake her up for church at 8:15am. I’m smart that way. I did, however, have to sneak in the room and select socks for church, and in the dark I just grabbed 3 pairs.

Two were brown socks, and my brown shoes were back in the bedroom. I ruled out making a second trip in there. The third pair were my novelty socks, black with Mickey Mouse on them, and for some reason he has green ears, to stand out against the black background, I suppose. Under the circumstances, they’ll do.

I park off-campus like a good member, saving the choice parking spots near the church for visitors. I ride the bus to church.

While I’m at church, I’m conscious of my fashion choice every time I cross my legs and my socks show. I force myself to keep my feet on the floor.

At bible study, a friend Paul has repaired the wife’s acrylic purse and reattached the handle. It’s a bright yellow rectangular box purse with bananas on it. Can’t miss it. Where’s the wife? I explain the insomnia, Paul asks me to deliver the purse. No problem.

Lunch with the bible class is at Jane’s Grill, 2nd floor inside the church. Yes, we have a restaurant inside the church, it’s a big church. I ask Acie for a ride back to my car later since the buses stop running at 1:00p.m.. We eat. We visit. Acie gets a phone call that he’s late for choir practice and excuses himself.

And I’m alone in Jane’s Grill. Now I have to walk back to the parking garage, along a busy street, with bright green Mickey Mouse socks and holding a bright yellow banana purse. I keep my eyes straight ahead and hope nobody honks at me.

My fashion choice is nobody’s business but mine, thankyouverymuch.