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Love others as you love yourself (Bible readings for Sunday, Sep. 7, 2008)

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Abraham Lincoln

A. Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln once promised (so I am told) that if he found a church whose creed was the Golden Rule, he’d join it.  He never found one.

Maybe he’d read what St. Paul recommended:

“Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code--don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of--finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.”

Seems like every time religion goes bad it’s because someone’s persuaded others that something—a doctrine, a tradition, a cause, a nation—is more important than loving others.  Paul and Jesus have no such illusion.

Just below are the rest of the Scriptures I’ll be preaching from this Sunday.  Oops, I’m not preaching this Sunday.  My old friend Jolean Rice, prayer-traveler of Romania and China, will be here telling her story.

Thanks for coming by!

Proper 18 (23) September 7, 2008
Ezekiel 33:7-11; Psalm 119:33-40; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20 Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

September 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm

If you love me … (readings for April 27, 2008)

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Serious Conversation by izadnhanaOne last time: These chapters in John’s story—thirteen through seventeen—comprise Jesus’ final words with his apprentices before his death. And these final words of Jesus luxuriate across five of the twenty-one chapters—almost a fourth of John’s story! John slows no other moment so deliberately (the crucifixion, for instance, rates a mere half-chapter!)

And in this slo-mo, frame-by-frame view, what’s the topic? Relationships. With him, with each other, with people who don’t understand and people who do.

“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.” And what’s that? Ah, let’s see, he said this and this and this, so we’ll love him if we follow the formulae precisely, right? If we mind every detail?

Exactly … wrong! Read the rest of this entry »

The One-Semester-of-Spanish Love Song

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Two minutes of humor—

For all who have studied another language, and have known the despair of being unable to say anything important:

¿Y tú, también?

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Written by Monte

March 20, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Posted in humor, Immigration

Marvel, ye lovers of bicycles

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Strida 7 second standard fold (2 second is possible)

I’ve been mesmerized by bikes since I was too young to ride one. Something about them speaks of mastery of one’s world. Perhaps it is an echo of the freedom first gained as a kid too young to drive.

Cool Tools caught my eye with this slick fold-up, demo’d in a 30-second video.
Someone out there will be as magnetized as I am. Watch the bounce it makes after fold-out. Ahhh. Now that’s a “come-hither” look.  Can you feel it?

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Written by Monte

November 30, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Environment

Jesus Loves Osama

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Now here’s an interesting thought, posted on signs by Baptist churches in inner-city Sydney:

clipped from

Jesus Loves Osama - from Flickr user Ronchy

The reaction from other clergy and even the Australian Prime Minister has been overwhelmingly negative, as other groups have tried to distance themselves from a church that would go so far as to say Christ … could actually find it within himself to love Osama Bin Laden, Terrorist #1. … [follow the above link to see sample comments] [By contrast,] Dan at Signposts says:

What a fabulous illustration of how confronting the message of Jesus is. Nobody denies Jesus said it, but everyone wants to qualify the sentiment and distance themselves from the presentation of the sign. link

  blog it

“Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” – Jesus

Making nice people angry for 2,000 years.

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Written by Monte

November 26, 2007 at 4:08 pm