Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stuck In The Middle With You (contemporary pop song)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today, our visit may be a bit lengthy as I would like to share a current reflection with you by Skip Moen, and my comment to it posted on his website.

I also have some "exciting news" to share with you on the writing front!

-October will be a "banner month" for me in terms of publication opportunities. I have two separate stories appearing in two separate anthologies!

The first is titled, Living Sacrifice, from an anthology titled "Thirty-one Days of October" by Shae Hamrick and Glenda Reynolds that will be available through Amazon on or about October 1st.

The second is a Christmas Anthology titled, More Christmas Moments, #3, by Yvonne Lehman, due to be released in late October and also on Amazon. My story there is a family account titled, No Room In The Sky.

I will keep you posted about both of these works as they would make good gifts for yourself or others you know, who enjoy fiction and or reflective pieces.

Last week, I posted a concerning item here from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and its noted stance on cultural issues of the day. Related to that in the broad sense, is the following by writer Skip Moen and my comment to it.

By Skip Moen | September 27, 2016 | 1
And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” Acts 23:9 NASB
Nothing wrong – Most Christians read this story of Paul’s defense without understanding anything about its implications. That is the result of ignoring what the scribes actually say. Instead, Christians tend to read this as a justification of Paul’s faithfulness. But a closer examination reveals something rather startling. The scribes of the Pharisees actually state that in their opinion Paul remains a full-fledged Pharisee! They do not object to his declaration that Yeshua is the Messiah. They do not object to his claim that God has poured His favor out on the Gentiles. They do not denounce Paul for rejecting Torah. In fact, they state that Paul is free to believe Yeshua is the Messiah, God has called the Gentiles and Torah is still completely relevant. They agree with Paul, or at least they do not oppose Paul’s views. As far as they are concerned, Paul can go right on proclaiming the good news of the kingdom under Yeshua and remain a Pharisee. As far as they are concerned, Paul might really have had an encounter with an angel or some divine spirit and it’s OK with them.
A careful reading of this event yields two crucial conclusions. The first is that being a Pharisee does not mean rejecting Yeshua as the Messiah. In other words, the strict observance of the Mosaic revelation is not incompatible with the Messianic claims of Yeshua. That statement alone should forever settle the spurious “law vs. grace” argument. Pharisees knew that men did not earn their way to God. They had just as strong a view of the necessity of grace as any contemporary “grace only” preacher. But they also knew what God demanded—Torah.
The second conclusion is just as powerful. It is this: we do not have to agree in order to belong to the Kingdom. Certainly there were many among the Pharisees who did not accept Paul’s claim that Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah. But it didn’t matter. The important point is that it didn’t matter to them. This is not about Paul’s acceptance of those who rejected Yeshua as Messiah. This is about their acceptance of Paul’s disagreement. It’s OK for Paul to have a different view.
“Judaism is a culture of conflict. There’s an old saying in Hebrew: ‘Without debate (argument), there is no learning.’”[1] This implies tolerance for difference. In fact, it relishes disagreement as the only true way to learn. If we all agree, there is nothing more to discover. Better to have a community of differing views than enforce a uniformity of presumption. This event demonstrates the tolerance of the Pharisees toward Paul and this should cause us to ask, “How tolerant are we of those who have a different view of God’s work among me?”

1 Comment
David Russell on September 27, 2016 at 7:28 am
Hello Skip and others,
The question of tolerance comes with another question: Where do we draw the line theologically on what we will tolerate, live with?
I see the following as the “elephant in the figurative living room.”
Is it one thing to differ on our interpretation of the angelic prayer for peace on earth and good will among humankind, and another to understand LGBT issues within the confines of Judeo-Christian parlance, or God having maternal traits contrasted with being referred to as mother God or what I’ll call degendered?
Is Christianity today guilty, as some allege, of racism and sexism?
I can permit, tolerate, co-exist with you without having to buy or agree with your theological understanding and vice versa. Is there room to present my theological view in the congregation if it differs from the denominational ethic? Generally speaking, no!
I may do so privately with others but not publicly.
A culture of conflict would be a welcomed addition to Christianity today rather than a culture of conflict leading to splits and formations of groups where uniformity and peace at any price is the order of the day. Truly worth thinking about!

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is with us always.

Mellow Roc

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review of Blog and Did You Hear The Latest?

Hello Grafted In Readers,

For those of you who may be new to my blog, there are three areas of interest that have come to be featured.
-Health Issues: As a result of having been a professional medical transcriptionist from 1998 to 2013, a mini-stroke survivor last winter, and personal interest in general health, I try to bring items of interest to our attention be it diet, weight loss, general maintenance, or a particular condition experienced by the population at large. That will be our focus this post.
-Faith Issues: These go under the umbrella of what is termed Hebraic Roots or Jewish roots. Abraham is the father of the Jew, Christian and Muslim faith(s.) The church at large ignores culture and customs that would enrich one's faith commitment.
-Occasional Story: As a writer of flash fiction mostly, I occasionally post something recently written that may be entertaining to those who enjoy reading in that genre. I have been in three anthologies over the past three years, published one novella in 2012 and will be in three more anthologies beginning with "Thirty-One Days of October" being released on or around Oct. 1, 2016 on Amazon.

Health: Blockage of ears from earwax. According to information from the US Mayo Clinic, signs or symptoms of blockage from earwax can include earache, feeling of fullness in the ear canal, cough, dizziness and ringing in the ears. These too may signal a condition other than ear blockage and in any case, should be addressed by one's healthcare provider. Typically, children receive a general ear check during a office exam. The healthcare provider can use a device such as a curett for removing earwax from patients be they young or older.

There is much to hear in our world, and may we be able to appreciate many of the sounds around us.

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence be known by you and me today and always..

Comments or greetings are appreciated.

Mellow Roc

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Who Is Your God? (for personal reflection)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

The piece you are about to read is serious business for people of faith. This comes from Lutheran Pastor, Tom Brock, pastorsstudy.org. In about a month, Protestants will celebrate the church reformation and that includes liberals, queers for Christ, conservatives and those adherents in between. Please share this with your Lutheran and Episcopal friends as the church their children attend will be the church those same children will support in a few short years.


Exposing the ELCA has introduced ELCA Rev. Lura Groen to you in the past. (see here) A couple weeks ago, Rev. Groen proudly posted, on her Facebook page, her delight that during Reconciling Works morning prayer time at the ELCA's Churchwide Assembly, they would be using a "Blessing" and liturgy she wrote. 

Reconciling Works is an organization that has been pushing LGBT rights, approval, gay marriage, gay clergy and the blessing of homosexuality in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for a good number of years.

​Here is Rev. Groen's Facebook post:

News Feed
Lura N. Groen
about a month ago
Beyond honored, but also pleased and tickled, that Emily Elizabeth Ewing is using this liturgy at ELCA churchwide assembly this morning, at the Reconciling Works morning prayer time.
And closing with the blessing I wrote, link in the comments.
Pastor Lura N. Groen: a Liturgical Proclamation of Queer HolinessThis is deeply moving. May I use it in my Queer Theology class at California Lutheran University? I am gathering examples of Queer Liturgies to give them a sense of how they can create their own worship experiences.
l u=http%3A%2F%2Fluragroen.blo…

​Here is ELCA pastor Lura Groen's "blessing":

May the Mighty One dance Her fierce dance on all the walls of injustice.
May the Strong, Proud Mama keep all Her babies safe.
May the Femme of all Femmes paint us in beauty.
May the Seductive One change our hearts.
May the Love of the Universe wiggle Her wide hips at you, and wrap Her thighs around you.
May the Promiscuous One make love to you, 
And may She rock your world. (see here)

(Reconciling Works did not recite the 4th, 5th or 6th sentences.)

​This is blasphemous. "(T)he Promiscuous One make love to you," "wrap Her thighs around you." This is the direction of the ELCA. As more and more CINO's (Christian In Name Only) and false teachers graduate from ELCA seminaries, the denomination that is already rejecting much of Scripture will be increasingly championing doctrines of demons. 
Here is a liturgy by ELCA pastor Groen called "a Liturgical Proclamation of Queer Holiness." It too was recited at the ELCA's Churchwide Assembly Reconciling Works morning prayer gathering:

My Beloved Queer Ones,

(y)our lives are holy.
(y)our lives are holy.
(y)our dancing is holy.
(y)our dancing is holy. 
(y)our protest is holy.
(y)our protest is holy.
(y)our grief is holy.
(y)our grief is holy.
(y)our rage is holy.
(y)our rage is holy.
(y)our community is holy.
(y)our community is holy. 
(y)our gender presentations are holy.
(y)our gender presentations are holy.
(y)our bodies are holy.
(y)our bodies are holy.
(y)our sex is holy.
(y)our sex is holy. 
(y)our love is holy.
(y)our love is holy.
(y)ou are holy.
(y)ou are holy.
We are holy. (see Rev. Groen's blog with this liturgy here)

(The Reconciling Works speaker added a few lines to this liturgy. - Here is a video of the blessing and liturgy. It begins around the 5:10 minute mark)


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Rev. Emily E. Ewing celebrates LGBTQ lives at #ELCAcwaPosted by ReconcilingWorks3,191 Views
Play video
Rev. Emily E. Ewing led us in a beautiful prayer thanking God for the lives and gifts of LGBTQ people. #ELCAcwa #RWKScwa

This is vile, crazy and a heresy that permeates the ELCA. 

God, grant us revival and turn our minds toward you!

Mellow Ropc