Entries Tagged as 'religion & philosophy'

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten lines from a joke you should tell at Easter Dinner today — or on Monday a day late (since this post is a day early)

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10. Tom, Dick, and Harry are in a VW when they have a head-on collision with a Mack truck.

9. Suddenly, they find themselves walking across these white billowy clouds towards these pearly gates.

8. As they start running towards the gates, St. Peter swoops in and says, “Wait a second, you can’t just come buzzing in here like you own the place!…”

7. “…You have to prove you learned something on Earth, and we have it boiled down to one question: What is Easter?”

6. Tom thinks about it for a while, then says, “My aunt and uncle come over, and we have turkey and cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie,….Pilgrims!”

5. Saint Peter pushes a button and Tom disappears down this fiery chute.

4. Dick’s sweating now because he’s next and there’s that fire there, and he thinks for a second, then sings, “Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells!” – Saint Peter pushes the button and he’s gone.

3. Harry, also sweating, says hopefully, “Well, it has something to do with Christ’s death.”

2. St. Peter considers this, smiles, and says, “Well, so does Good Friday; let’s be a little bit more specific.”

1. And Harry says, “There’s this massive rock, Jesus rises from the dead, He rolls back the rock, steps outside,…[pause]…and if He sees His shadow…”

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

In honor of Easter, top ten favorite Bible quotes

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10. “And God created light, and saw that it was good. Then God created man, and saw that it was hilarious.” – Genesis 12:5

9. “As ye sew, so shall ye rip.” – Galatians 6:7

8. “And the Lord said unto John, ‘Come forth, and receive eternal life.’ But John came fifth, and only won a toaster.” – Leviticus 12:18

7. “Then the three disciples went to Mount Olive, but before they could, Popeye swooped in and beat the crap out of them.” – John 3:18

6. “Many are cold, but few are frozen.” – Matthew 22:14

5. “Then Doubting Thomas asked, ‘If we’re all God’s children, what’s so special about Jesus?’” – Mark 11:16

4. “And God said unto Abraham, ‘Be not mistaken, and doubt not that widescreen is the best.’” – Sony 16:9

3. “Thou shalt not raise thy hand to thy child. It leaves thy groin unprotected.” – Corinthians 9:7

2. “The lion and the lamb shall lie down together, but the lamb won’t get much sleep.” – Deuteronomy 13:3

1. “In the beginning, there was nothing, and God said, ‘Let there be light.’ Then there was still nothing, but now you could see it.” – Genesis 12:5
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

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 …
[Read more →]

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.
[Read more →]

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.
[Read more →]

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 …
[Read more →]

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 …
[Read more →]

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 …
[Read more →]

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?
[Read more →]

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 →]

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