I Wish You a Merry Christmas

December 23rd, 2007

Recently, at the end of the local boardgame club meeting, everyone wished each other Merry Christmas. No one offered the artificial Happy Holidays. Now some in this group are Christians, but not all, and no one seemed to regard the greeting as offensive. It seems that except in the corporate world, Merry Christmas is still the norm here in the USA.

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We Had an Inkling

December 17th, 2007

Recently I had a chance to try the boardgame Inklings from Cactus Game Design with friends from church.

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Yes, There Is a Santa Claus

December 5th, 2007

Absolutely true. There is.

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Thanksgiving

November 21st, 2007

I thank God for my life, freedom, health, wealth, and safety;

for his salvation from my old nature; that he gave his Son to accomplish it;

for his abiding presence; that his wisdom is with me;

that I have a purpose in his creation (and know what it is), and am equipped to perform it;

that my family, or much of it, is still with me; that nearly all of them are believers;

for friends of yesterday and today;

that my country is free (for now); for those who gave their lives and those who put theirs at risk so it can remain free;

that I have days left beyond these, and an endless life yet to come.

And I thank my King, Jesus Christ, for making all of the above possible.

The Living Word

October 31st, 2007

The fourth reason I attend church is to hear the Word of God, though perhaps not in the way that you might first think.

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House of Prayer

October 24th, 2007

The third reason I attend church (or church activities, like home groups) is for prayer. Now in practice, I pray very little at church these days, especially compared to prayer on my own. The role of prayer in church has diminished in recent times.

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Any Given Sunday

October 17th, 2007

In the first days of the church, believers in Jesus were mostly Jews or proselytes to Judaism. On Saturday they would go to the synagogue or to the Temple if in Jerusalem. Early in the morning, often on Sunday, believers would meet together in an assembly of their own that has come to be known as the Gathering. As believers were expelled from synagogues and the temple was destroyed, the Gathering began to take on the function of these institutions, and over time would develop into what is now our modern church service.

So what was the original Gathering like?

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Why I Attend Church

October 12th, 2007

I read a homily by John Chrysostom from 1600+ years ago, in which he mentions the church attendance patterns of various types of people in his day, among them are – those who stop going altogether, those who attend maybe once a year or at random, those who attend regularly but with a frivolous attitude, those who make a show of being zealous but cause division. I was amused how little things have changed, as I’ve recognized the same patterns today. But getting to the topic, I’ll start out by saying that I don’t attend church because I’m supposed to. I won’t invest precious time doing anything without perceiving its worth. And that is probably true for anyone. I’ve known many people who say they should attend church but don’t.

So whether to attend and how often comes down to perceived worth. For me, there are four things I value about the local church that motivate me to attend. I’ll cover just one this week.

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Where have all the generals gone?

October 1st, 2007

It’s been awhile since I did a gaming post. Part of the problem is that fall is my wargaming off-season. No particular reason, other than the flurry of activities this time of year pushes gaming off the agenda. I did have a wargamer friend in from Seattle two weeks ago and we broke out For The People II, Mark Hermann’s excellent strategic-level American Civil War card-driven game. Click here for a well-done review of the game. We didn’t have much time to play and actually spent more time looking at an online game he is playing.

Now by off-season, I mean no ftf play. During this time I usually leave one game setup for solitaire play. Aging’s effect on memory is actually helpful for solitairing card games. Once I play the Union turn, it may be a day or two before I play the Confederate turn, and by then I will have forgotten what cards are in the Union hand. Heck, sometimes I forget after 20 seconds. :p

The Praise and Worship Service

September 30th, 2007

All forms of biblical praise, and some of the forms of worship, survive in today’s worship service. How worship services should be conducted or what type of music should be present is sometimes a matter of controversy, but for the most part, modern Christian worship services faithfully follow a biblical model. What lacks in modern Christian praise and worship is not in what is done at the assembly, but that praise and worship are neglected at a personal level.

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