Etchings in the Sand…

Thoughts and Photos from the Desert…

Category Archives: Religion

Crucifix…An Art Piece.

One of my treasures. It all just came together.

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How To Find The Right Church…

An important point, overlooked in finding the right church, is what one feels once worship is finished. Extremely important.

The right church will leave us feeling that something important has happened. The time has been well spent. We feel a bit different about life and ourselves than we did when we entered the church.

Obviously, this can take many forms.

It could be inspiration. It could be a warm glow of inner satisfaction. It could be a sense of being disturbed. It could be a feeling of penitence or sorrow. It could be a determination to make a difference in the world around us. It could be a new sense of discovery and of understanding something we have wondered about. It could be a sense of having practiced the presence of God. It could involve the kind of happiness that comes from having been in connection with good friends. It could be the stimulation of having been stretched in some good way. It could be a feeling of wonder or awe.

It could be just a strange feeling that we are a bit different than we were before – the sense of having been touched by something authentic.

I found that during my search for a good church, the right church for me, I sometimes left worship a bit less of a person than I had been before. The time had been wasted. I hadn’t been stretched or inspired. I was mildly angry or depressed.

This is God’s way of telling us to move on. Every church can be the right church for someone. Blessed is the person who finds the church that is right for him/her!

A wise preacher once counseled a group of theologues that the purpose of preaching is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted. If church can do that for us, we are well advised to cleave to that church and give ourselves over to its ministries. It is the good church.

5 Reasons Your Online-Chat Pals May Block You…

The folks at CNN have rendered internet users a service with the following article: 5 reasons your online-chat pals may block you

I think it’s a useful tool for all of us who indulge in chats. A few weeks ago I accepted a friend request from an old friend. As I read her writings I discovered that she had become, in the decades since we last met, decidedly right-wing in her politics and religion. Also she was active in the obnoxious (to me) games that clutter FaceBook pages. She sent me four posts, 3 of them reprimanding me for various comments I had made on these pages. Feeling that I didn’t really need either the stimulus of her positions or criticisms (not that they are wrong or unimportant to her), I decided to reaffirm my feeling that chats are for warm interchange and fun. I blocked her.

I also take people off my FaceBook “friends” from time to time because I only want to have 40. More than that and I find myself spending more time on it than I want to. Folks that only lurk (don’t contribute) Or who CNN describes in its piece quoted above get quietly axed.

Nothing personal here. Feelings shouldn’t be hurt, but often are. But to paraphrase my hero, Jesus, a bit. FaceBook was made for us, not us for FaceBook.

I believe that.

God…

Thomas Merton has a similar photo to this one of mine. In fact, his photo, called “God”, inspired this one.

Of course a photo-shoot to an abandoned gold mine about a hundred miles west of Phoenix, Az presented an opportunity! I’ve never solved the question as to why Merton gave the “God” title to the photo. I love the image.

Any ideas?

Faith in the New Year…

Faithful in the New Year

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

as used in the Book of Offices of the British Methodist Church, 1936

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Chapel in Sedona…

Here’s the beautiful chapel in Sedona, Az. It seems to fit with majesty into the red rocks.

sedona chapel.jpg