Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I've also been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp who (among other things) talks about naming in terms of noticing and giving God thanks. She ties in not just noticing but looking for God's gifts, giving thanks is a way of naming, and in doing that we acknowledge not just the wonder of His creation but His presence moment by moment. Perhaps we do more than acknowledge but we share that moment with Him, then we can't help but worship Him . . .gratitude changes us. It's worth reading the book.

So all three books are doing their work, not the books really but the scriptures tied to the ideas.

The point of taking time with children to notice, and be awed, and give thanks for His gifts in my mind is part of worship - worship that quietly puts God at the center of every day. This circle (wheel) starts to roll of noticing the little gifts God gives us everyday, our thanks acknowledges His presence, our awareness and our relationship grows, despite the other stuff - in the face of all the other stuff . . .

I've also recently re-read Vickie Hearne's book Adam's Task. She was a writer, philosopher, horse & dog trainer. The first time I read her book I found it the most frustrating book ever. All the things I wanted her to keep talking about, she didn't. On the second read I caught the part where she said she did it intentionally.

So God created a world, then he created man and gave him dominion over what he created along with the privilege of naming. Not just the authority but the privilege.

What does it mean when you give something un-named, a name?

God and the World in the Old Testament: A Relational theology of Creation by Terence E. Fretheim
CRT (for creation and relational theology)

The whole book is 284 pages plus about 100 pages of notes and indexes.

from Chapter 1

The author starts with the comment "A remarkable number of Hebrew words are used with reference to creation with God as subject..." (p. 1)

He notes the vast number of  images and metaphors from creation used in the Old Testament. My comment: if we allow our children to lose touch with (first hand experience) they will not understand those images and metaphors.

"...because creation in the Old Testament is a theological category, it is not to be equated with nature or world."(p. 4) My comment: Interesting.

creation is ongoing...something that human and non-human creatures do. ( p.4)

Asking what does the word creation entail? He explores
          1)  "Originating Creation" - as when/where things originate,
          2)  "Continuing Creation" - where God continues to sustain, hold things together, and keep things running implying a system as opposed to God making moment by moment micromanagement decisions. "God also continues to create the genuinely new." (p.8)
            "The broad understanding of creation in ancient Israel was crucial ... it helped assure a fundamental earthiness, a down-to earth understanding of the faith that was related to life as it was actually lived rather than a faith centered in a spiritualistic, futuristic, or sentimental piety."(p.8)
            "God's continuing creation is as 'good' as the original creation. . .Given the realities of sin and evil, such continuing creational activity will not proceed without significant opposition." (p. 8)
          3) "Completing Creation" - He completes the incomplete. "The books of Genesis and Revelation provide a creational bracket for the Bible, and texts in between are a continuing witness to the purposive work of God toward this new creation. At the same time, the new creation is not a return to the original beginning - if that were the case, everything that had happened in between would finally be of no consequence . . . The new creation is not simply a rearrangement of that which has existed; something genuinely new will come to be." (p. 9)

He explores redemption, creation, salvation - interesting thoughts for evangelicals.

That's only part of Chapter 1. I'm going to keep reading but not get into the old quotes and comments.

I will get into the old asking of questions . . .

Friday, July 13, 2012

Exploring the scriptures in Dr. Fretheim's book. Reading Eccl 9:11 in the NIV, the Holman, the KJV, the 21st Century KJV I noticed that there is a word which is translated as "learned" in the NIV but a form of the word "skill" in the others. Do you equate "learning" with aquiring a new skill or do you equate it with gathering knowledge and ideas?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Ivy Beckwith has a new book out (Jan 2010). I haven't read it but I was reading the amazon reviews.

The Church of England's newsletter Going for Growth (children's ministry/youth) cites a recent survey

Children & the Lord's Prayer (survey) . They also offer a resource page to help kids explore and use the Lord's prayer.

I find myself using it more. When we were kids we prayed before bed with one of my parents or grandmothers: "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, keep me safe all through the night and wake me with the morning light. God bless..." And you go through the list of every living creature you know. The longer the list, the longer you have before you have to go to sleep. There were probably times when I prayed "If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." There may be other verses.  With our (now young adult) kids, we prayed Thank You prayers and we prayed for people. They learned the Lord's prayer but didn't use it in our evangelical/charismatic church every Sunday. They don't know it well.

Sometimes I prayed the Lord's prayer at night near the end of elementary school. I knew it because we prayed it in church every Sunday. And we went to church every Sunday.  A traditional Presbyterian church, soon to celebrate 225 years. When we actually started to look for a church when I was in my late 40's, early 50's I realized it was something I had never done. The Lord's Prayer (with a few differences) was one of those things that remained the same from church to church, denomination to denomination. A common denominator, if you will.

I've been praying the Lords' prayer more out of church in the last five years than ever before. Less "name-it-claim-it". More "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Did you ever wonder what that must look like from where God sits?