The Sacred Journey

August 24, 2011

“When Yahweh became a man, he was a homeless vagrant. He walked through Palestine proclaiming that a mysterious kingdom had arrived… He called people to follow him, and that meant walking.” (Charles Foster, The Sacred Journey)

The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster is a volume in The Ancient Practices Series from Thomas Nelson. this volume, like the rest of the series, is excellent.

the concept and metaphor of journey is a wonderful way to think about the spiritual life. like a journey, the spiritual life is full of ups and downs, roadblocks, bumps, storms, and times of smooth sailing.

Foster’s The Sacred Journey is part theological and spiritual text, part biographical, and part great story telling.

early in the book, in the Preface, Foster states, about the book: “I have tried to articulate a theology of pilgrimage.”

The Sacred Journey has received mixed reviews and feedback. it seems to stem from the fact that this book is not your typical conservative evangelical text. in fact, a few of the volumes in The Ancient Practices Series would rub some people the wrong way. this is unforetunate.

The Sacred Journey is well-written and a delight to read. it is defintely worth reading. it will enrich your spiritual jounrney greatly.

*Full Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through “Book Sneeze.” They give free books to bloggers for honest reviews.*


Worship (Part Two: It’s Form and Essence)

August 15, 2011

John 4 is one of the richest chapters theologically and spiritually in the Bible. it can be studied, read, and preached upon from many different angles focusing on one or more of the many elements and truths it contains.

these thoughts centre on part of the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman contained in verses nineteen through twenty-four.

this portion of their encounter turns into a conversation about worship and it’s form and essence.

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain,” the woman says,  “but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” (John 4:20, NIV)

“Believe me,” Jesus replies “…a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:21;23, NIV).

form refers to “shape” or “the mode in which a thing exists.” (Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English).

forms of worship, therefore, will vary: artwork, music, dance, acts of service, prayer, singing, poetry, etc. the location in which worship takes place will vary: church buildings, theatres, living rooms, cafes, bars, etc. the form of worship will vary from tradition to tradition and believer to believer.

essence refers to “the intrinsic nature of something.” (Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English).

the essence of worship, therefore, has nothing to do with what we wear, where we worship, what songs we sing, and what instuments are being played. the essence of worhsip is a matter of the heart and soul; it’s a matter of spirit and truth. the essence of worship is the same for all believers: God is worthy to be worshiped.

will we worry more about the form of worship or the essence of worship?

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24, NIV).

Worship (Part One: What is Worship?)

August 3, 2011

what is worship?

is it merely entering the doors of a Church building on Sunday mornings and singing songs; choruses and hymns?

is it playing a musical instrument or reading passages of Scripture from the Bible?

is prayer an act of worship?

are acts of serving other acts of worship?

what comes to mind when you think about “worship?”

in the wonderful book For All God’s Worth, N.T. Wright states: “…the word ‘worship’ literally means ‘worthship’: to accord worth, true value, to something, to recognize and respect it for the true worth it has.”

we get our English word “worship” from the Old English word “worthship.”

worship, then, conveys and imparts worth; it communicates value.

to worship God is to say with our actions and words, our worship, that God is worthy of being worshipped. to worship God is to say we value His presence in our lives. to worship God is to honor Him.

“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalm 100:2, NIV).

Jake Doyle vs. Maximus Decimus Meridius

August 3, 2011

there is some very cool and very big news out of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

actor Russel Crowe is going to appear in an episode of the CBC show Republic of Doyle.

Republic of Doyle is an awesome show. it’s set and filmed in St. John’s and is the baby of Newfoundlander Alan Hawco. he acts, as Jake, writes, and produces.

Crowe has been in some of my favorite movies of all time: American Gangster, 3:10 To Yuma, Body of Lies, and Gladiator. anything he’s in is worth seeing.   

Crowe is good friends with Great Big Sea musician Alan Doyle. they’ve toured/played music together and Doyle had a role in the Ridley Scott film, starring Russel Crowe, Robin Hood. Doyle has appeared on Doyle as a criminal in the past. the rest is history.

i’m really looking forward to this. i think season three of Republic of Doyle begins airing on CBC in January of 2012.

tune in.