Entries Tagged as 'religion & philosophy'

musicreligion & philosophy

Suggestion for Church … Music for “Marching As to War”

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The most recent national election has provided a new President of the United States – one with an attitude and goals that some within the Presbyterian Church USA find alarming … to say the least!

Through the world wide web and with the assistance of internet applications, a number of my ‘virtual’ acquaintances within the denomination have shared their concerns – their dread, even – over the developing situation … and a call-to-arms, of sorts, to alleviate that situation. And let me say, their concerns are not unfounded. In just a few weeks, President of the United States Donald Trump and the conservatives in Congress have already set back victories achieved by liberal-to-moderate factions within our society during the term of Trump’s predecessor, Barrack Obama.

And more may be on the way …
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religion & philosophyterror & war

My problem with Patriot Day

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It’s been just under fifteen years, now, that Joint Resolution 71 passed through the U.S. House of Representatives, then the U.S. Senate, then was signed into by law President George Bush, proclaiming September 11 as Patriot Day. This followed President Bush’s proclamation of September 14, 2001 – just three days after the horrific terrorist attacks of ‘9/11’ – as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. Personally, I think President Bush had the right idea in that proclamation, perhaps realizing that there was more to what we experienced that terrible day – and the days and years that followed – than just patriotism. [Read more →]

advicereligion & philosophy

I am PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel … What does blanket divestment REALLY accomplish

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For my part in the Presbyterian Church USA’s debate over divestment of church funds from fossil fuel producers (and the vote that will be coming up this week in the bi-annual gathering of PC-USA’s General Assembly) I have suggested more than once that a blanket divestment is NOT the answer. I have recommended an alternative … redirected investment of funds into responsible/moral fossil fuels producers.

WITH RESPECT, AND WITH AN OPENNESS TO DISCUSSION, I want to ask proponents of blanket divestment … what does it REALLY accomplish? Sure, it’s easy to do … and when it’s done, you feel good … but couldn’t you have done so much more? Here are some points to consider, on how you could accomplish ‘so much more’ through redirected investment, rather than blanket divestment … [Read more →]

advicereligion & philosophy

I am PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel … Responsible/Moral Production

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For my part in the Presbyterian Church USA’s debate over divestment of church funds from fossil fuel producers, I have suggested more than once that a blanket divestment is NOT the answer. I have recommended an alternative … redirected investment of funds into responsible/moral fossil fuels producers. Is there such a thing? I think there is, and I would like to suggest some criteria for that … criteria that could be used by PC-USA’s Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) ministry in deciding – on a case-by-case basis – what to do with the church’s investment funds. [Read more →]

advicereligion & philosophy

Another reason I am PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel …

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In the Presbyterian Church USA’s debate over divestment of church funds from fossil fuel producers, there are some considerations that are not being presented, especially when it comes to oil and natural gas. Here is one I would like to present. Those who are demanding that we “Keep It in the Ground” may not realize … it’s NOT just oil we’d be keeping in the ground. [Read more →]

advicereligion & philosophy

PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel

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Consider how Christians might respond to a call for a blanket divestment from Christianity, inspired by a variety of things that have taken place in the past, or are taking place right now … things that had (or have) nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ and the kingdom He proclaimed, yet were done (or are being done) in His name, and in pursuit of a very worldly and wrongful pursuit of His kingdom.

How might Christians respond to such a call? [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten things that indicate just how hip and progressive Pope Francis really is

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10. He’s overseeing the instillation of the Vatican’s first drive-through confessional

9. He considers himself an agnostic because, as he says in Latin, “How do you really know one way or the other?”

8. The communion wafers he distributes now include nacho-flavored

7. He’s hosting the Comedy Central Roast of Benedict XVI

6. A typical penance might be, “Say three ‘Hail Mary’s and sing three choruses of ‘John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt’”

5. Instead of one of those kneely things, his confession booth has a rocker recliner

4. Before he offers communion, he lets you speak with the wine steward

3. For showering, he’s allowing his likeness to be used on Pope-on-a-Rope

2. Instead of incense, before the service he fills the censers with Acapulco Gold

1. Last week he dedicated a new church in Rome called Our Lady of Gaga
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

environment & naturereligion & philosophy

PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel … Part 1

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Consider how Christians might respond to a call for a blanket divestment from Christianity, inspired by a variety of things that have taken place in the past, or are taking place right now … things that had (or have) nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ and the kingdom He proclaimed, yet were done (or are being done) in His name, and in pursuit of a very worldly and wrongful pursuit of His kingdom.

How might Christians respond to such a call?

[Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten signs you need an exorcist

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10. You notice a bunch of sixes on your scalp

9. You suddenly start speaking unintelligibly, and you don’t work for Fox News

8. Your blood type came back as “Fire and Brimstone”

7. Every time you walk into a room, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells starts playing

6. You’re producing more pea soup than Campbells

5. You’re Chris Christie (Sorry, that’s a sign you need exercise)

4. You recoil and hiss every time you see a hot cross bun

3. You’re one of the Koch Brothers

2. Your head has been spinning around so much, you’ve worn out twelve collars

1. No matter how you prepare your eggs, they always come out deviled
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

musicreligion & philosophy

A precious moment at 1st Prez

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A big day at 1st Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas a couple weeks back … THE day, really … not just for Christians, but for all people … Easter Day, Resurrection Sunday, Empty Tomb Day, whatever.

It was also a day of added significance for me, in a small personal way … it’s the one time I have the courage to go up front and sing in public. As I have noted before, little remains of the fine tenor voice I carried into high school. If maturity had replaced it with an equally fine baritone, I wouldn’t have minded so much … but, alas, such was not the case. I still sing in public, but only that one time each year, and in the particular circumstances we have at 1st Prez that day … when I am surrounded by a large choir, accompanied by chamber orchestra and organ, and singing for a packed house of people feeling more than the usual level of Christian charity and forgiveness.
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religion & philosophy

the day before The Day

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Big day, tomorrow … and not just for all Christians, but for all peoples … that’s what I believe.

“We are the Easter people,” Pastor Jim Miles of First Prez-Fort Stockton would remind us, and not just in the days leading up to Easter, but throughout the year. And that is what we affirm tomorrow, the day for which we have been preparing over the past six weeks, the day for which we live – or at least try to live – at all times.

A promise was made on a joyful, star-lit night, in a stable in Bethlehem … but that promise was kept on a bloody, storm-darkened day, on a hill outside of Jerusalem … and later in a place of tombs in the early morning.
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religion & philosophysports

Upward Devotional: Sharing the Fun

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As I noted before, during the first two months of the year, part of my Saturdays are spent in gymnasiums … one in my church, and another in the public high school across the street. The Upward Basketball and Cheerleading season is well underway here, in Midland, Texas. Volunteers are helping the program in a lot of different ways … as coaches, referees, time/scorekeepers, and delivering devotionals to the fans during halftime breaks … I’m one of the volunteers doing the devotionals, and here was my presentation for this past Saturday, inspired by what I observed of the youngsters on the court …
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religion & philosophysports

Upward Devotional: Looking Inside, Underneath

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As I noted before, it’s the start of a new year, and that means part of my Saturdays are spent in gymnasiums … one in my church, and another in the public high school across the street. The Upward Basketball and Cheerleading season is well underway here, in Midland, Texas. Volunteers are helping the program in a lot of different ways … as coaches, referees, time/scorekeepers, and delivering devotionals to the fans during halftime breaks … I’m one of the volunteers doing the devotionals, and here was my presentation for today, inspired by the story of a an alumnus of the college where I work …
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religion & philosophysports

Upward Devotional: Good News

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As I noted last week, it’s January, and that means part of my Saturdays are spent in gymnasiums … one in my church, and another in the public high school across the street. Upward Basketball and Cheerleading season is underway here, in Midland, Texas. Volunteers are helping the program in a lot of different ways … as coaches, referees, time/scorekeepers, and delivering devotionals to the fans during halftime breaks … I’m one of the volunteers doing the devotionals, and here was my presentation for today, inspired by the fact that bad news here, in my part of western Texas – a motor vehicle accident that claimed ten lives, and effects of the continuing decline in oil prices –  made it into national headlines this past week …
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religion & philosophysports

Upward Devotional: Happy New Year!

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It’s January, and that means part of my Saturdays are spent in gymnasiums … one in my church, and another in the public high school across the street. It’s the start of the Upward Basketball & Cheerleading season here, in Midland, Texas. Volunteers are helping the program in a lot of different ways … as coaches, referees, time/scorekeeprs, and delivering devotionals to the fans during halftime breaks … I’m one of the volunteers doing the devotionals, and here was my presentation for today …

Good afternoon, everyone … and happy new year to all of you! Let me have a show of hands here … how many of you made New Year ‘s Resolutions for 2015? … okay … now, how many of you are still keeping those resolutions?
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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

In light of The Lost Gospel’s claim that Jesus was married, top ten things overheard at Jesus’s and Mary’s wedding

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10. “Who’s going to cut the wedding loaves and fishes?”

9. “At least we can tell our kids their Grandpa attended our wedding; He’s everywhere!

8. “It drives me nuts, all the kids here who can’t take their eyes off their stone tablets.”

7. “No, when you pronounce my first name that way, it makes me sound like a Mexican!”

6. “Today, I’m walking on champagne!

5. “First we raise the dead, then we raise the roof!

4. “Whose bright idea was it for us to get married on December 25th? – Now people will be combining my birthday, Christmas, and my anniversary gifts all in one!”

3. “It would be a miracle if we could keep this a secret for the next 2,000 years.”

2. “Honey, when I look in your eyes, it’s Heaven!

1. “Sweetheart, you do realize that if we do get buried together, I gotta go!”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

religion & philosophy

THE Christmas tradition … Luke wrote it, Linus shared it, I believe it

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8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

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11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2
King James Version (KJV)

However you mark this day, a very Merry Christmas!
May this find you and yours happy and healthy, this holiday season and in the new year to come!

moviesreligion & philosophy

The long lost instruction book to the game of life

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When you’ve seen as many movies as I have, you begin to see that they all follow a certain pattern. This is true not just of movies, but of all great stories ranging from those found in classic mythology and literature to modern TV series and video games. Joseph Campbell called it the monomyth or hero’s journey. It’s basically a series of steps that the protagonist must go through during the course of his or her adventure. In addition to this, there are also a number of spiritual principles that often find their way into storytelling. By combining these principles with the monomyth, you can pretty much figure out where just about any story is headed. While this skill has proven to be incredibly annoying to my wife, it’s come in very handy for me. Not because I’ve continually annoyed her with my usually correct movie and TV show predictions, but because I’ve noticed that these storytelling rules apply to more than just fictitious stories. They also apply to real life. [Read more →]

religion & philosophy

Warning: Spirituality can be hazardous to your health & wealth

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Ah, the enlightened life! A life where the superficial trappings of the material world have lost their luster. Where greasy, fried, and fatty foods are no longer tempting. Where meditation, sharing, and an appreciation of the beauty of nature provide all the fulfillment one needs for true happiness. And yet, considering how healthy, content, and self-fulfilled spiritual people claim to be, why are they plagued with so many health, wealth, and happiness issues? Is poverty a requirement of enlightenment? Is self-indulgence selfish? Is self-love a sign of an inflated ego? The irony is that most spiritual people are just as egotistical as materialistic people—perhaps even more so since they believe themselves to be so far above everyone else. Sacrifice and ascetic behavior do not make one spiritual. Denying the material for the sake of the spirit misses the big picture. To be truly fulfilled, one needs to embrace both of these worlds, creating more than a holy life, but a wholly life. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten ways the new hip progressive Pope Francis is celebrating Easter Sunday

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10. Instead of blessing everyone from his balcony, he’s doing his monologue from ground level, like Leno.

9. He’s inviting Benedict XVI over for an afternoon showing of Philomena.

8. He’s holding an Easter Egg Roll – not that kind – he’s just calling his local Chinese to order 3,000 egg rolls!

7. He’s starting his own Easter papal ‘white smoke’ tradition (wink wink), followed by a Council of the Cardinals discussion of how current Theological thinking fits in with today’s debate between String Theory and Loop Quantum Gravity.

6. He’s counselling some of his most confused priests that, during Easter, it’s perfectly okay to have an inordinate fondness for pastels.

5. He’s going to walk out with one of those really big papal hats, then fake everybody out and show it’s really a giant Easter egg standing on end!

4. He’s inviting all the archbishops over for a late-night showing of Nuns Gone Wild! (“Ankle slip!!”).

3. He will formally forgive the Easter Bunny and the Easter Chicken for whatever inglorious act they needed to commit in order to produce such lovely multicolored eggs!

2. He’s overseeing the instillation of the Vatican’s first drive-through confessional.

1. Just chillin’ with the wife and kids.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

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