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JUST ANOTHER TRIP AROUND THE SUN

 

Week 13 of 52 - Hidden Valley Christian Church

 

So far have traveled about 146,000,000 miles.

 

Something left out of visit 06 of 52†† Free Methodists-(from my notes):

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That "Desire to acquire" robs us of enjoying what we already have. That SUV - or that new and different woman or man - they rob us of what we have. Your "stuff" is not really your own - but also - it is not you. Sunset magazine is a "clean" magazine, but it makes us want and want. Let's quit striving to get more and gain more. Slow down, and God will heal you of some of these wants.

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Notes on last week - Buddhism:

Their scriptural authority was one that left no doubt as to the 'Lord of Compassion's views on eating meat. The Shakyamuni (Sanskrit, meaning 'the sage of the Shakyas', and a title of Gautama) Buddha says loud and clear:

To avoid causing terror to living beings, let the Disciple refrain from eating meat . . the food of the wise is that which is consumed by the Sadlius (Yogis); it does not consist of meat . . . there may be some foolish people in the future who will say that I permitted meat~eating and that I partook of meat myself, but... meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit. . . meat-eating in any form, in any manner, and in any place, is unconditionally and once and for all prohibited for all.

It appears that the guess was correct about last week's Buddhists being more than a "branch," but more a "protestation," as a "protestant" would be to a Catholic.

 

I did think it interesting that the original Buddha would know enough to say, "people in the future who will say - - "That gave me some doubt as to the validity of the quote, especially when they do not claim a God - or anyone to reveal.

 

It appears that the original "teacher" permittedor did not permit things - that he was the boss of the followers. I think most religions like to portray their teaching as being less bossy than they actually are. Missionaries are told they may not swim, for example. Why did the Church come to believe it is in charge of our lives in such detail? Most churches do this a great deal. Why is this power so important to those who become leaders?

 

 

My son sent the following:



As the Book of Mormon teaches, miracles were performed and it is taught that none were performed save the Priesthood holder was "clean every whit."  Worthiness is key.



I responded with:

 

This is a "doctrine" that is taught two ways. Each way is taught strongly - and I've even witnessed the same teacher going both ways - with time in between - and not even being aware of it.

Way Number One: (what you sent)
As the Book of Mormon teaches, miracles were performed and it is taught that none were performed save the Priesthood holder was "clean every whit."  Worthiness is key.

Way Number Two:
Your home teacher is whom you should call when administration is needed. There is no need to get the Bishop you admire - or the Stake President you believe is extra worthy. The worthiness of the performer is not the issue, but the worthiness of the one receiving the blessing.

If way Number One is true, and my child may die of cancer - I'm getting the most righteous dude in town. He is the one with the power to get God to heal.

If way Number Two is true, I may even do it myself. I know my child is worthy - my own worthiness is not at issue for the healing.


Which do you think it is? Check the worthiness - or don't check it? And if check it - how much effort to find out? Should I interview the prospective ordinance performer? Should I ask others what they know about him? Should I find out about healing failures of the past?

 

I tend to take the latter view - that his worthiness is not at issue - except for himself and his own progress.

Love, Dad

 

The Visit:

 

Hidden Valley Christian Church††† On Juniper at Chestnut.

 

I attended the Sunday School class for Seniors first. That was interesting, because I found I had the same trouble with keeping my mouth shut that I have at my home church.

 

"Preach the gospel all the time. If necessary, use words." - St. Francis of Asissi

 

"Smile, Christian, smile. A smile tells all that Christians are happy."

 

"God rules all. If we donít know Him - or know Him and donít like Him - He still rules all nations, and the universe. If we donít do what He says, we suffer the consequences from Him."

 

They began talking about the time that guy "steadied the arc," and God killed him dead as a doornail on the spot. These folks had been told not to touch the arc.

 

I raised my hand and asked if it was ok to ask questions. This was about half way through the "discussion," and nobody had questioned anything up to then. They said, "Sure - questions are always welcome."

 

(Ok - now some ofyou Mormons are laughing. Quit it.)

 

I said, "If I had a babysitter - and had given instructions including one that a glass-front cabinet was not to be touched - -"

 

"And if then, while we were gone, a little California earthquake occurred - shaking the house and the cabinet - and just then, the cabinet began to fall over where two of my little ones were playing on the floor - and if then, the little babysitter quickly pushed the cabinet back to the wall - -"

 

"Then when we got home, the six year old said, "Daddy, Mommy - Sara and Davie were playing on the floor and the cabinet was going to fall right on them, and our babysitter saved them!"

 

"Would I kill the babysitter?"

 

"Would I even criticize the babysitter for breaking my rule?"

 

"We all know I would not."

 

"Am I more understanding of circumstances than God is?"

 

"A god who would do such a thing as kill someone who was trying to do a good deed is not only not to be worshipped - he is not even likable. He would be an evil god."

 

 

This led to considerable discussion - now several of these seniors were involved in dialogue.

 

The teacher handled it all pretty well, and I told her I thought so afterward. They thought my question substantive - but still a little funny. There was some laughter when I asked it. One of the elements of humor is surprise. I guess it is surprising to some when anything God is said to have done - is questioned. The question and ensuing discussion - did take up the last half of the lesson - and this is what is sometimes frustrating to teachers when I am there. This teacher appeared to enjoy it. I measure teachers now - and if it's going to be hurtful, I forgo the class and find other things to do with the time. I've tried to continue attending - and just stay quiet - I can't do it - no self control.

 

 

Then came the formal meeting:

 

This was probably the meeting most like ours of the 13 so far. The congregation was quite different, however. Almost all of them were seniors - about 200 of them. Essentially no children at all - and I assume the few that were there were visiting with their grandparents.

 

Songs were either printed in the program - or sung from hymnal. I'm already missing the projected words - it makes singing much more community. Everyone here was focused near at their programs or their hymnals - not much looking up. Little smiling - because that generally requires eye contact - and there can't be much of that while reading something near. I wish we could do the projection thing in our Sacrament meeting to see how we like it. I know we would love it - as soon as a few got over the "changing of tradition."

 

The sacrament was advertised as "Open Communion," meaning all Christians are invited to partake. Since Mormons are Christians, I partook. They serve the grape juice and bread together - but they don't wait for everyone to receive - each takes it as he or she receives it. An interesting trivial observance - the sacrament trays for the "wine" had no receptacles for empty cups. It didn't matter - because the color made it clear which cups were full and which empty - one just returned the cup to the little hole from which it came. We probably discovered that this was a problem when serving water - would grab too many empties because we couldn't easily tell them apart, so we invented the receptacle for empties. So far, I haven't found any other church that uses water. Also have never seen water served with no other beverage available for dinners or refreshments. Mormons like water. I like milk for cookies - punch, juice or soda for more serious food.

 

I noticed that off to the side, they were signing for hearing impaired. I went up to them afterward and asked if there was a good course they could recommend for someone to learn American Sign Language. The teacher for a class was right there - and with some help with a signing teen, I got all the information - and am planning to attend for ten weeks beginning next week.

 

Someone asked how I'm doing with these "extra" goals for the Trip Around The Sun. Answer is that so far have done little about the sign language - so this is a good beginning.

 

Regarding the violin. I made a goal to practice two minutes every day. I've found that some days, I donít do that - so I practice for ten whole minutes and count it as five days. I'm playing some scales. I do it when there is no one to have to listen.

 

 

I had some feelings during the formal meeting here - that were not positive. I can't characterize them fairly - so I'll think on it some more - and may comment later.

 

Week 13 of 52 - Hidden Valley Christian Church

 

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