Bag of Randomness for The First Day of Summer 2019 and Our Sixteenth Wedding Anniversary

  • In yesterday’s LiberallyLean post, the author was intrigued by Senator Marco Rubio’s version of the Lord’s Prayer he referenced in a tweet. That reminded me of my mother’s funeral in which I gave the eulogy. I thought I’d end it with the Lord’s Prayer as we spread her ashes, something unifying and commonly recognized. Things were pretty smooth until we got to the fourth line – some said “forgive us our debts,” some said “trespasses,” and others will said “sins.” It was a little awkward (and a tiny bit amusing) but I left confused as to why there were multiple versions of what I was taught as “THE” example of how to pray. I suppose that’s what started a phase in my life in which I delved into church history and denominational differences trying to figure out how and why there are so many churches (denominations, different sectors of belief) when at one time there was simply “one church” (Yeah, I know, it’s still “one church”, THE body of Christ, but you know what I’m saying.) That’s a long answer. But as for the Lord’s Prayer, I learned those raised in Presbyterian or Reformed traditions are more likely to say “debts ” while those who come from Anglican/Episcopal, Methodist, or Roman Catholic traditions are more likely to say “trespasses.” Those whose churches were influenced by ecumenical liturgical movements of the late twentieth century are probably more likely to say “sins.” Earlier this month, it was announced the Pope approved changes to the wording of the Lord’s Prayer. Instead of saying “lead us not into temptation”, it will say “do not let us fall into temptation” to clarify God does not, in fact, tempt people (I’m just the messenger, not saying I support the change, feel free to yell at the Pope – @Pontifex). I suppose for all of us English speaking folk, we have William Tyndal to thank, who first translated the Bible into English from Hebrew and Greek texts and for the lack of better phrasing, used certain preferences and liberties. All of this also reminds of an elderly man I once heard talking about his time in elementary school. Each morning, along with the Pledge of Allegiance, the whole class prayed together saying the Lord’s Prayer. He said he didn’t look forward to the part in which the Methodists said it one way, the Baptists another, and the Catholics, who made up most of the class, proclaimed it differently. He claimed all of this highlighted the different makeup of the class and small squabbles of which one was the “correct” version. So, I think these different versions have less to do what version of the Bible(NIV, KJV, NRSV, etc)  is being used than what Christian tradition a person comes from (Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Anglicanism, Baptists, Pentecostalism, Methodism). Huh, this became one long bullet point and I probably should have broken it up, oh well.
  • Since I referenced the Pledge of Allegiance, I’ll throw this out there – Personally, I don’t think Christians should be reciting it. This isn’t the liberally-hippie side of me speaking, but more the faith-based side of me being a stickler for things. Christians shall only pledge themselves to Christ and no other. Pledging your allegiance to something or someone is basically an oath to commit your loyalty to that entity. Jesus himself said, “But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all,” (Matthew 5:33-37) and “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). I suppose some of you will say I’m using those verses out of context or taking things to literal or to the extreme, and that’s cool. This topic doesn’t bother me enough to squabble or debate, it’s just a light amount of sanctimony I think everyone goes along with because they feel like it’s the right thing to do. If you are wondering, yes, I myself recite the pledge.
  • Delving into denominational differences and church history can seem daunting and intimidating, but if you’d like to explore it with some light reading, I suggest Adam Hamilton’s Christianity’s Family Tree: What Other Christians Believe and Why. Perhaps I shouldn’t say it’s light reading because I never read the book, but I did watch the eight-sermon DVD. A nice complement to that would be Richard Foster’s Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian FaithEven though he doesn’t make the specific analogy, I like the idea of how all these different streams of orthodoxy and denominations flow into the one river of Christiandom. I’m sure many of your expert theologians are raising an eyebrow, and that’s okay, I’m just an armchair theologian if that.
  • Your church history is far richer than you’d expect.
  • I was pretty shocked when I saw the news stories that the Baker Hotel in my hometown of Mineral Wells was being renovated. Anyone from Mineral Wells will tell you they have heard the rumors a thousand times, but this time there was a nice formal announcement followed with, “Renovations will begin immediately.” That’s mind-boggling to me.
    • I wonder what the new owner(s) meant by immediately. Did the actual manual labor begin yesterday afternoon?
    • The project will cost $65 million. Personally, I think that’s a little low for what needs to be done if they really intend to restore her to her full glory.
      • This sentence from Texas Monthly scares me and one reason I’m not as optimistic as others.
        • “Ahead of today’s announcement, Fairchild declined to discuss from where his group had secured the $25 million they still lacked as of earlier this year. But he was more than happy to remind me of the details of their ambitious plan.”
    • The first year of work is dedicated to removing lead paint and asbestos which sounds like a pain in the arse. That sort of work sounds mundane and it will be hard for the public to see any progress. Heck, I’d just like to see what the outside of the building will look like when/if cleaned. I guess you have to pressure wash that sucker.
    • I have my doubts even if she is restored that it will be a business success, but I have my hopes. And yes, this post is Mineral Wells heavy. I’ve always said it’s not much, but it’s home. It shaped me, it’s a part of me, and it’s special in its own unique way even if just for me.
    • The new logo looks nice, it’s regal-modern-classic and clean if that makes sense. And, the website is spiffier than I’d imagine. However, I did spot one image that’s out of place. The photo of the auditorium chairs wasn’t taken inside the Baker but from the old high school built in 1914. Here’s my proof, this is drone footage filmed inside the abandoned high school and I’ve cued it to the specific portion.
    • Somewhat lost in the news is that the Welcome Mountain sign will also be renovated thanks to a family donation. Yes, I know it’s not an actual mountain, but here’s a little history of the sign, which predates the Hollywood sign.

      • The sign was given to the city of Mineral Wells in 1922 by George Holmgreen of the San Antonio Iron Works with the understanding that the city would maintain the many electric bulbs in it. At the time of its installation it was the largest noncommercial, electrically lit sign in the country. 
      • This section of the article really caught my attention.
        • In 1972, a Warrant Officer Club stationed at Fort Wolters stumbled across the weathered sign and moved it from the city’s East Mountain to the Bald Mountain, where it could greet visitors traveling west into town on U.S. 180.
          • My father was a warrant officer stationed at Fort Wolters. I wonder if he had any involvement. Surely, he would have mentioned it to me at some point if he did.
      • I regret never hiking up that “mountain”.
    • I watched parts of the announcement ceremony.  Mr. Holiman, my former middle school principal who later became my high school principal who later became mayor, spoke at the event. I wasn’t even sure he was still alive. He helped get this effort moving when he served as mayor and he’s simply beloved by the community. In his speech, he stated when he first moved to Mineral Wells, he could not even enter the Baker Hotel because of segregation. But in three years he wants to stay the night as one of the first guests of the restored hotel when it reopens. Jovially, he said he’d like to stay for free.
    • For Mineral Wells, that’s an impressive crowd.

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5 Responses to Bag of Randomness for The First Day of Summer 2019 and Our Sixteenth Wedding Anniversary

  1. Dan says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  2. Brent says:

    Love your takes on the Lord’s Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance! In your studies, did you also note that Catholics have a different ending to the Lord’s Prayer than Protestants do? If you are ever at a Catholic wedding or mass, be sure to stop after “deliver us from evil” or you may be embarrassed. That’s because the earliest manuscripts of Matthew (the traditional Lord’s Prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13 as part of the Sermon on the Mount) don’t have the familiar ending most of us probably know and pray. It is more of a doxology added on to the end and made standard practice through church tradition. Some say it was included by the Protestants in the early days of the British Reformation as a further way to distinguish the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. At any rate, it’s still done differently today.

    As for the Pledge of Allegiance, theologically speaking, I think you are absolutely right and I imagine most missiologists would agree with you. Some (or many?) Christians have blended their patriotism and theology so much that they have failed to think critically about things like that. However, like you, I also recite the Pledge in practice simply out of respect and a sense of honor as a citizen. But I hope American Christians always would consider themselves Christians first and Americans second. The two are not equal; God may bless some nations but I don’t believe God plays favorites with the body of Christ globally.

  3. John Mackovic says:

    – I was raised a Presbyterian, our church switched from “debts” to “sins” when I was a kid. I kind of remember that our preacher gave an explanation for it, but I don’t remember what it was.

    – I don’t like the pledge because the wording implies that we should be loyal to the government (“the republic”) instead of the people (“the nation”).

  4. Nathan says:

    I pledge all of my allegiance to the cross of Christ. Pledging allegiance to a flag, especially with hand over heart, is idolatry.

  5. RPM says:

    Happy Anniversary, Geedings! (and many more)

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