Lutherans move ahead: 8-27-09
Colleges' religious roots: 8-29/30-09

The essence of ministry: 8-28-09

What is the most effective ministry?


Well, in many ways that depends on the needs of the ones receiving ministry. In my experience, those offering ministry often misinterpret those needs, thinking that people in need require some fancy words or some complex theological explanations for what has happened to them

More likely, all they need is our presence.

The day after Sen. Ted Kennedy died this week (he's pictured here), I had a nice note from my sister, the one whose son perished on 9/11 almost eight years ago as a passenger on the first plane to hit the World Trade Center.

She told about going with Karleton's widow "to a 9/11 memorial in downtown Boston. Ted spoke along with others. When the speeches were over the speakers came down to the audience so they could speak to us individually.

". . .I went up to Ted. I was standing next to his right side. I thanked him for his speech. And I said, 'I know you understand.' He put his arm around me and gave me a big squeeze. This was a few weeks or so after JFK Jr had crashed. Ted was a Teddy Bear."

Notice what happened there. My sister and Ted Kennedy gave each other the gift of presence. Yes, a few words were spoken. But mostly he ministered to her by his presence and she ministered to him by being present to acknowledge his own pain.

I think we sometimes make ministry too complicated. It's nothing more -- but surely nothing less -- than giving ourselves away to meet the needs of others.

* * *


A judge has ruled a Kentucky law that acknowledges dependence on God is unconstitutional. Well, duh. How in the world do such obviously unconstitutional laws get passed, anyway?

* * *

P.S.: You can follow me on Twitter at


Will Graham

Bill, just as it is unconstitutional for the government to promote religion, per the first amendment, (and as in the Kentucky law you mention) lets remember that it is ALSO unconstitutional for the government to denigrate religion, also per the first amendment.

This was a lesson Chad Farnan taught Mr. Corbett:

Of course, if the courts eventually turn on the Christians, and it is a choice between the government and supporting Christians, know my answer to that.

0. Delusion: psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary
0. a mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea; "he has delusions of competence"; "his dreams of vast wealth are a hallucination"
the act of deluding; deception by creating illusory ideas

A false belief that is resistant to confrontation with actual facts; The state of being deluded or misled; That which is falsely or delusively believed or propagated; false belief; error in belief

delusory - deceptive: causing one to believe what is not true or fail to believe what is true; "deceptive calm"; "a delusory pleasure"

Going to these bible studies is great fun. You tribes, and bans, of Xianity forget to check out your neighbors. Xs believe different stuff.

The Xs who morph to societal issues will last longer…

Then disappear….

Some day.

We people will evolve whether some people believe in evolution or not-

It still happens even if you don’t believe.

Check out insecticides, herbicides, …….

Do some homework. It’s there.

Since the day I was born, 2-20-53, monkeys have come down from trees and are living on land. What do you call that? Adapting? Evolution. Some die, some live. In society today we look with disgust that “the strong survives. Yet it is a fact. Evolution. continued

But with our intelligence, we try to make sense of everything.

Is that good as an animal, a mammal? I don’t know,…we are here. Does it matter ‘WHY’ we are here. Do you think I care why you went to the store today?

The church is changing. I talk of the church as Xanity. From what Bill posted yesterday, I see that Xs need to change, so they agree, together – herd mentality-, so they can feel righteousness. Revenge, the reckoning….

Iggy said, “So, if it is "separation from god" how in the bloody hell is it different from Earth? - I am separated from god and don't feel any discomfort?”

I know. When I was 12 the holy spirit left me,…I felt nothing. I was too busy with ‘LIFE’, at 12. And NOW.

DW said, “KCFree, your post this morning at 7:45 am was brilliant! It is a wonderful defense of the unequivocal Biblical position against homosexuality, although I'm sure you were being sarcastic and trying to belittle God's word. Even so, the Holy Spirit can use your words to bring understanding and open the minds of people like Bill and some others on this blog to God's truth.”

God’s truth? I’ll tell you god’s truth. Evolution. Evolution, of thought, in human beings, set forth the THOUGHT concept of ‘god’.

God is so little, it escapes most of life. We evolve on with our thoughts of what we pick up at stores before we get home after work, to will we have sex tonight, or not. We think human things and unfortunantly Michael Shermer is right about humans are superstitious by nature, Most that is. Not all of us are superstitious.

Why does this happen? Why do so many act like this?

Evolution, I think.

The numbers of religious is shrinking because the number of non religious is growing. Evolution.

Whether you admit to evolution or not, … you are experiencing it. Life, go figure. Continued

Red said, “I'm glad the Lutherans are catching up with the rest of the world on the matter of gay clergy. I read some of the ELCA document Bill referred us to....did anyone else ?”

I did. It seems to fit in with our bible studies.

Every time something becomes of great issue in our society it changes. Women’s rights, Native American rights, Black rights, Mexican rights, Gay rights, Atheist rights. It all changes. People who protested against it in the beginning jump on broad later. Why? Partly because it is the right thing to do and partly because they will loose if they don’t change. Evolution. Survival.

Why not really study history and see this to be true and move ahead? Too much money and time spent on opposing what history shows, is to be inevitable. What does this say about human kind?

Red, in the bible there is no good without bad. No bad without good. No parts without the whole. No whole without the parts. A doggie chasing it’s tale. Kansas City shuffle.

The bible is of no use at all. We knew, before the bible, what was right and not, and we know now. It’s all practice. We know what is right because we have learned it is better to get along. Evolution.

Protecting what is old because it is old and right, is backward thinking. This is 2009! Protecting any part of the bible is humanity denial.

Offended. I see this as an escape to find a refuge with others, to feel secure. If we don’t question, then what are we? Then we don’t find a cure for diseases or sciences to help us to get along.

There is no supernatural world. Only this one. The natural world. Anything, including the bible, which supports supernaturalism is wrong.

Old music is dead. Deserves to die. New music will change the world. And the new music after that. Remaining behind, only means remaining behind.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Dolores Lear

"A judge has ruled a Kentucky law that acknowledges dependence on God is unconstitutional. - How in the world do such obviously unconstitutional laws get passed, anyway?"

By a Christian Majority? Is God in the laws of the USA, the Christian God, or a Generic God? One God for all the different Religions?

Is the Christian God Holidays, Rites, Icons, and Prayers, Constitutionally Correct in the USA and State Governments?

Should the USA be One Government for All Citizens, Religious or Atheists? How did this One Government for All Citizens, get changed into State, County and City Governments also?

Why are there so many different Human Divisions, in One Government for the people and by the people? Why did Humans get Divided by Race, Creed, Haves and Havenots? By God?

"we sometimes make ministry too complicated. It's nothing more -- but surely nothing less -- than giving ourselves away to meet the needs of others. - More likely, all they need is our presence."

Our presence helps in tragedy and death, but does not work in Physical Living Needs of the Havenots. Why does Christian America have so many Havenots? They do not believe in the Right God, or No God?

Humans make all the Divisions, not God. What make some Humans think they have the Right God? Because they were taught this as a Child?

1Corinthians 13: 11,13.: KJV. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. - And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity."

With Equal Sharing of all Earth's Resources like Jesus taught, Charity is not needed, and Havenots and War are not possible.


"[O]bviously unconstitutional"? Really? Why? What "establishment of religion" would that law be "respecting"? And isn't that a state law? The Constitution only forbids Congress from establishing a law respecting an establishment of religion.

If all the law does is acknowledge our dependence on God, our Founding Fathers did that by starting their sessions with prayer. That would be the same Founding Fathers that wrote or voted on the Constitution, so I'm sure they had some idea what they meant by that First Amendment.



On the agenda is one chapter from the New Testament. The outline for the last week had specific verses - and 10 verses out of 23 for that particular class have been completely bypassed from the discussion of this chapter in NT. This study will finish the chapter - 3 more verses are not discussed in the chapter and then the rest of the verses are.

Having read the chapter and paying critical attention to the missing verses, I can see why - they are "inconvenient" to explain what is meant and what is "actually" said and they come across as "completely" going against Jesus' teachings. Will be fun to find out why they are missing.

If you are interested to attend this Bible study, please, e-mail [email protected] for information.

There will be a 1 hour notice given about the address of the church with the map for directions - this will be plenty of time to get to this church from anywhere in the Metro area.
PreacherJD wrote>>>>>>>[O]bviously unconstitutional"? Really? Why? What "establishment of religion" would that law be "respecting"? And isn't that a state law? The Constitution only forbids Congress from establishing a law respecting an establishment of religion.


You are "delusional" - Constitution of Kentucky "ALSO" prohibits establishment of religion, not just the Federal Consitituion Please, provide evidence otherwise or just "shut up", "crawl under the rock" and "die with the rest of the Christian trolls".

We'll see if this ruling will be appealed in 10-30 days. Then we'll see how powerful the influence of the egg laid by the space alien in the brains of your fellow Christians in KY is.

My atheist gawd! Please, clone new brains for these crazies!

Christians, Think!


Bill, I like what you wrote here: "I think we sometimes make ministry too complicated. It's nothing more -- but surely nothing less -- than giving ourselves away to meet the needs of others."

I'm glad your sister got to share a hug with Ted Kennedy. And I enjoyed the Washington Post article you linked to the other day about him ("Ted Kennedy's Mixed Catholicism" By Jacquenline L. Salmon). I liked what he said about truth (which Salmon quoted in the article) -- "I believe there surely is such a thing as truth, but who among us can claim a monopoly on it?"

That's really how I see it, too -- so maybe this is a good answer for those who keep accusing me of not believing there's any such thing as truth.

I actually have a lot of interest in Roman Catholicism. There's a Catholic Church right up the street from us. One of my 9yo's friends goes there with her family. I can't exactly put my finger on why I'm so interested -- but I keep feeling this urge to look into it more, so I started a thread on the mothering message board I go to. There's a cradle Catholic there who is also a lesbian -- she calls herself a "Catholic in dissent."

I'm guessing that once you are Catholic, you can be in dissent for a lot of stuff and still be a part. But I'm not sure if they take you in if you're already in a state of dissent on many issues, which of course I am. I think I'll start studying the Catechism and see where things head from there.

Iggy, I see you posted a lot of interesting links to vidoes about Evolution the other day. I'm looking forward to watching them later with my family.


From Wednesday -- "Susan where did I assert that we need fear of punishment to be motivated to lead moral lives?"

Will, I was responding to your 4:23 AM post from earlier in the same day, where you wrote, "Bill, I assume you think God never punishes.

"That's a comforting thought to many, but also disturbing; it means that NO MATTER WHAT any human being does to others they will never be ultimately accountable.

"That is why I am convinced that atheistm is an anti human death dealing philosophy that removes all restraint on human action..."

See, I view morality as that system of inner controls that causes people to restrain their actions: it's morality that causes us to hold back from just impulsively doing whatever we feel at any given moment, IF we are holding back because of a consciousness that our actions might cause harm to others (I don't see it as moral to restrain an impulse, if the impulse is to show kindness to others, of course).

I read your post as saying that people who don't believe in a punitive God, just unrestrainedly do whatever they please without thought for others. If you meant something else, could you clarify?


Will, on Wednesday you also asked me, "And what do you mean by 'moral' lives?"

In my previous post I just shared what I believe morality is. To expand on that, I think morality is realizing we don't live in a vaccum, and that our actions can have unforseen effects on others. Growth in morality goes hand-in-hand with growth in empathy. And empathy grows as we widen our circle of who we see as "us" and not "them." It grows as we realize that even those who seem the most different from us, are nevertheless human just as we are, and hurt and love and have dreams just as we do.

And of course empathy grows even further, the more we can accept even non-human life as "us" -- realizing that disregard for our environment is a travesty against us all.

So a moral way of life is a life of empathy and consideration for others. And of course this is just common sense, kind of like the law of gravity (what goes up must come down). It's kind of like what Cole said about the Bible not inventing morality. I don't agree with him that the Bible is useless, though.

The Bible has helped me tremendously in my own growth in empathy. I just feel like I'm now at a place where I see some parts of humanity being held back by portions of Scripture that they see as God's inerrant Word, which were really just a reflection of the views of Bronze-Age people. The Bible can be such a catalyst for love and hope, when it's read as a compilation of writings by fallible people who got some glimpses of the heart of God.

But it constricts the growth of empathy when "every jot and tittle" is held up as God's inerrant Word.


A fascinating article about what woudl a person miss if they just came back to reality in 18 years. The 29 year old woman who has been in "isolation" and "abducted" 18 years ago and had 2 teenage daughters with her kidnapper - 11 and 15 year old. She has lived in the back yard of the property all this time in some sheds with locks. The kids were born in the sheds and have not been to a doctor or to school.

The world has changed so much in 18 years. I wonder how psychologically this woman and her kids would be able to adjust, how about their vocabulary, logical and reasoning skills, IQ, were they exposed to any TV, radio, books, newspapers?

The kidnapper during a prison phone interview promised a heartwarming story that will come out of it and that the victim will suprise everyone. I have a feeling there will be "god" involved and "revelation" of sorts. This is going to be an interesting case to follow. The suspect raised suspcitions when he came to UCLA Burkley campus to pass around religous fliers with the kids.


Bill, I commend your desire to understand the perspective of those who see homosexuality as sinful.

I find it easier to respect disagreement with homosexuality, if the disagreement is based on a belief that sex is purely for procreation (though of course I disagree with this belief). If these people truly conform their own lives to this teaching, to the point of never using contraception and never having sex at a time when pregnancy can't occur (such as when the wife is already pregnant), then at least they are not being hypocrites.

But I know lots of folks who condemn homosexuality, but have absolutely no problem with non-procreative heterosexual sex. Many anti-gay Christian couples continue to enjoy sex even after one or both partners have been surgically-sterilized. They're "defining" the meaning of sex for themselves just as a gay or lesbian couple is. But they hypocritically think they are right and the gays are wrong.

And some may accuse me of being non-compassionate, since many women have health issues that would be complicated by another pregnancy, or that necessitate them taking medications that could harm a developing baby.

And I do agree that it's a horrible sentence to place on someone: No sex for the rest of your life, unless you do it in such a way that pregnancy can result. I think a couple who can't have children (or more children) for whatever reason, should still be able to continue enjoying sex, because I believe sex is about a whole lot more than procreation.

This is why I also believe "No Sex" is a horrible sentence to place on someone who's been born with a God-given attraction for the same sex, and not for the opposite sex. If heterosexuals can have compassion ON THEMSELVES when procreative sex is no longer a possibility for them, then by-gum they can extend that compassion to same-sex couples as well!

Dolores Lear

"No Sex" is a horrible sentence to place on someone who's been born with a God-given attraction for the same sex, and not for the opposite sex. If heterosexuals can have compassion ON THEMSELVES when procreative sex is no longer a possibility for them, then by-gum they can extend that compassion to same-sex couples as well!"

Then the sex act should be for everyone. Heterosexual, GLBT and Children, are All born with a God-given sexual attraction.

Ever since 'Asexual' Adam and Eve Clones, not born by Body Birth, gave in to their God-given Genetic sexual attraction, they Reproduced Body Birth Children. God Reproduced Male and Female Asexual Clones, not Children.

The God/Us Supernaturally with High Tech, Reproduced Humans 'in their Human Genetic/Physical 'Image'. They were our High Tech Human Clone Ancestors, from another Planet, not GOD that No One has ever seen.

The GOD Source that Reproduced the Atom and Electro-Magnetic Elements of Life, as High Tech Humans Know it, cannot be a Human made from these Elements.

Humans Reproduced by Body Birth, lost the High Tech Knowledge of Colonization and High Tech Reproduction, through the Body Birth of Cain and Abel, and all Humans Reproduced by Body Birth since.

Until Misbred Body Birth Killer Humans Destroy Spaceship Earth and all Life on it, with our Toxic Pollution, and Nuclear Bombs on land and sea, will Humans accept High Tech Lab Reproduction like they do 'Fetus'?

Eternal Human High Tech Life After Birth Knowledge, is in the Christian Bible, all Scripture and Myth.

High Tech Eternal Physical Clone Human Life, After Birth, is possible On Non-Polluted Eden Planets and in Spaceships.

The Bible and Myth tells us so.


The above link is to an awesome Catholic organization called Call To Action, which I just learned about while reading the article in the lower link, which is about dissenting Catholics.

I am starting to feel really sad that I am not a cradle Catholic, because this seems like a wonderfully-diverse church to be a part of, and I'd love to be a part of Call To Action.

Also, our Historic Northeast Neighborhood always has been, and probably always will be, strongly Catholic. It started out as an Italian neighborhood, but now is definitely shifting toward being predominantly Hispanic. Being part of our local parish seems like a real way to get more connected with our neighbors.

And I've started reading the Catechism and it's beautiful. Yet I know that, honest as I am about my thoughts (many of which don't line up with the current Pope's teachings), I'm not likely to ever be accepted for membership.

But if I were already "in," it sounds like I could stay "in," even in a state of dissent. I just have a feeling it would look kind of weird to say, "I'm here because I'd like to become a dissenting Catholic."

But maybe we could still attend Mass and be somewhat involved?


Continuing with the topic of evolution from the other day...


Useless eyes: burrowers

The non-functioning eyes of burrowing animals, such as marsupial moles (order Notoryctemorphia: no lens or pupil, reduced optic nerve), golden moles, amphisbaeneans and naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber).

Useless eyes: river dolphins

Not all river dolphins are blind; in fact, Amazon dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) have quite good eyesight. However, most others have reduced vision. Most of their habitats are murky waters, where eyes are of little use. And the designer's gift of good sonar is perfectly adequate instead. Why, then, do Ganges and Indus dolphins (Platanista gangetica and P minor) have eyes at all? For their eyes lack a lens, leaving these species unable to resolve images: the most they can do is perceive the presence or absense of light (of which there's rather little where they live anyway)... for which skull apertures, eyeballs, muscles, retinas and the rest, the same design as normally-sighted dolphins have, seems a bit excessive.

Nautilus eyes

Whilst on eyes... is it not strange that the creator, having given the nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) an otherwise very good pinhole camera eye, chose not to give that eye a lens?

Red Biddy

I'm curious.

Cole said "The bible is no use at all."

If this is so, why such enthusiasm for bible studies at Xian churches, which he has said he enjoys so much ? If the "bible is no use at all" why bother to study it at all ?

It's just a book, Cole, among many books, if you have such a low opinion of it, why don't you go read/study something else ? (For God's sake !)

Cole also said "Protecting what is old and right is backward thinking." and that "Old music is dead. Deserves to die."
I hope he was just speaking metaphorically because there is a lot of "old stuff" which we can learn from and if it wasn't for some of the old stuff, which was right, we wouldn't have progressed as far as we have.....
And as a classical musician having spent my whole life playing "old music" (and a lot of new) I can tell you that old music is never going to die out and just because Cole thinks it "deserves to die" It's not.
Now who is being delusional ?


Biddy, Biddy, Biddy, Biddy...

Of course "old music is dead". Of course it "deserves to die" to let it go and new music to sprout. This is how it has been for millenia, this is how it is going to be.

Whe was the last time you have heard a commercial radio station play music from the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's or even 60's? - 70's is about the cut off period. It's over for music over 40 years old as the folks who enjoyed it when they were young are now 55-70 and at that point they are "not" the desired demographics exept for "Viagra" and a whole host of other drugs you see advertised on 5:30 p.m. national news on TV.

Do you see (or rather hear) music from last century and earlier? - I don't mean "magestic" Bach, Tchaikovsky or Wagner? - these are "elite" musical icons like Rembrand, Michelangelo, etc. Do you hear music today that was "old" to people in the 15th century? How about 2,000 years ago? Any Jewish music from Arameic times?

Everyday music of the average people - "pop" of the time is gone. Music today rotates on about 2-4 months scehdule - ask any DJ or listen to a pop station.

The fact that some classicl music remains is "perfectly" explainable - there are still "living fossils" that have not died out. Yet 99.99% of all life has died out.

You still don't get it - even as a freethinker - you don't capture the full picture of the "bird's eye view"

You too, will eventulally crawl under the rock and die out with your ideas. So will I.

It's always been this way, it will always be this way. Of you are not dead yet, you will be.

Live with it :o)


The Truth does not change with the times. It is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. The Lutherans did not change the truth by allowing gay clergy. Truth is not a democracy.

In the words of Fr. John Corapi, "At the end of time, you and I will be in Heaven or Hell... period"

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,"
Deuteronomy 30:19

If you don't believe in Hell you just might end up there.

Will Graham

KCF, in his 7:57 post, has just admitted he is a Nihilist.

Will Graham

By the way, he loves to tell people to crawl under a rock and die.

Now he is even saying it to atheists.

Are the rest of you so afraid of this a. .hole that you are a afraid to tell him off?

Red Biddy

Yes, Will G, KCF does seem to admit to being a nihilist in his 7.57 post, doesn't he ? Maybe his real estate business isn't going so well !
Certainly his "birds eye view" of which I was accused of not "getting", was that of a lowly miserable worm which doesn't have any eyes at all. Poor man he obviously wants to crawl back under the rock from whence he came. And what is even sadder is that he obviously thinks that everything good in his lifetime will die off with him. Even worse than that ridiculous thought, he makes the arrogant judgement that even good things "deserve" to die and idiotically tries to use evolution as a reason for everything dying off !
Sure we are all going to die one day but great ideas, music, art, literature, all the great things human beings are and have been capable of creating will surely live on and are not by any stretch of the imagination "living fossils" as KCF would have it. As Teddy Kennedy said "The Dream will live on."

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