Daily Archives: February 27, 2016

(Local Paper) "Only God Can" a movie about women and friendship and faith

When the women in the movie “Only God Can” talk with each other, they say things like “Let me tell you, one Charleston Heart to another,” then go on to say whatever they wanted to share.

This is a faith-based movie about five women in their 40s who have been friends since their days at the College of Charleston. They call themselves the “Holy City Heartbreakers” and the film begins with them all coming together for a reunion at a splendid beach house not far from Charleston.

That these women love and care for each other is readily apparent, yet, as adults, they have taken different paths toward completeness, with varying results. Two are committed Christians, the other three, not so much. This leads to conflict among them that is put into perspective when tragedy strikes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Women

(NBC) 3 Florida Middle School Girls Accused of Trying to Poison Teacher's Soda

Three Florida middle school students are facing felony charges for allegedly poisoning their teacher by spiking her soda with red pepper flakes, authorities said Friday.

Jayne Morgan, a language arts teacher at Deltona Middle School in Volusia County, was sickened by her soft drink on Tuesday, but the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t privy to the incident until Thursday, at which point an investigation was launched, according to a sheriff’s office statement.

Morgan, 52, had sent one of her 12-year-old students to the principal’s office on Monday “for dumping glue into another student’s backpack and for suspicion of stealing a laptop computer,” the statement said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Teens / Youth, Theology, Women

(WSJ) Peggy Noonan–Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected

I keep thinking of how Donald Trump got to be the very likely Republican nominee. There are many answers and reasons, but my thoughts keep revolving around the idea of protection. It is a theme that has been something of a preoccupation in this space over the years, but I think I am seeing it now grow into an overall political dynamic throughout the West.

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful””those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.

I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.

They are figures in government, politics and media….

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

George Herbert on his Feast Day–The Thanksgiving

Oh King of grief! (a title strange, yet true,
To thee of all kings only due)
Oh King of wounds! how shall I grieve for thee,
Who in all grief preventest me?
Shall I weep blood? why thou has wept such store
That all thy body was one door.
Shall I be scourged, flouted, boxed, sold?
‘Tis but to tell the tale is told.
‘My God, my God, why dost thou part from me? ‘
Was such a grief as cannot be.
But how then shall I imitate thee, and
Copy thy fair, though bloody hand?
Surely I will revenge me on thy love,
And try who shall victorious prove.
If thou dost give me wealth, I will restore
All back unto thee by the poor.
If thou dost give me honour, men shall see,
The honour doth belong to thee.
I will not marry; or, if she be mine,
She and her children shall be thine.
My bosom friend, if he blaspheme thy name,
I will tear thence his love and fame.
One half of me being gone, the rest I give
Unto some Chapel, die or live.
As for thy passion – But of that anon,
When with the other I have done.
For thy predestination I’ll contrive,
That three years hence, if I survive,
I’ll build a spittle, or mend common ways,
But mend mine own without delays.
Then I will use the works of thy creation,
As if I us’d them but for fashion.
The world and I will quarrel; and the year
Shall not perceive, that I am here.
My music shall find thee, and ev’ry string
Shall have his attribute to sing;
That all together may accord in thee,
And prove one God, one harmony.
If thou shalt give me wit, it shall appear;
If thou hast giv’n it me, ’tis here.
Nay, I will read thy book, and never move
Till I have found therein thy love;
Thy art of love, which I’ll turn back on thee,
O my dear Saviour, Victory!
Then for thy passion – I will do for that –
Alas, my God, I know not what.

–George Herbert (1593-1633)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, History, Poetry & Literature

A Prayer for the Feast Day of George Herbert

Our God and King, who didst call thy servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in thy temple: Give unto us the grace, we beseech thee, joyfully to perform the tasks thou givest us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for thy sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from E W Benson

We confess to thee, O heavenly Father, as thy children, our hardness, indifference, and impenitence; our grievous failures in pure and holy living; our trust in self, and misuse of thy gifts; our timorousness as thy witnesses before the world; and the sin and bitterness that every man knoweth in his own heart. Give us, O Father, contrition and meekness of soul; grace to amend our sinful life; and the holy comfort of thy Spirit to overcome and heal all our evils; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars….

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

–Psalm 75: 2-3; 6-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[ABC] The Dean's Story

The appointment of Kanishka Raffel as Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney makes him the first non-European to hold the position in the Anglican Church of Australia.

The Very Rev’d Raffel was raised Buddhist and as a student was once a member of the Australian Association of Jewish Studies, but reading the Christian gospel was a life changing experience that set him on the road to the Church….

Listen to it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

[Tobin Grant] How the decline of white Protestants in South Carolina was exaggerated

Just before the South Carolina primary last week, there was a report from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) on religion in the state. I couldn’t believe what was reported. It took some digging to find the source of the problem: it is very difficult to find valid surveys of states, and it’s even harder to find ones that can be compared over time.

Here’s what PRRI reported. Since Pew surveyed in 2007, the percentage of white born-again Christians dropped from 36 to 26 percent. Other white Protestants fell from 24 to 17 percent. This means that white Protestants lost nearly a third of their members in just eight years. White Protestants have gone from being a majority (60 percent) to a minority (43 percent).

If these results were true, then it was big news. Really big. Sure, South Carolina is becoming more diverse, but did white Protestants drop 800,000 in less than a decade? Such a change is incredible (literally).

That was my gut reaction. Figuring out whether my instinct was right took some digging. It took some time, but I found the problem.

Read it all

Posted in * South Carolina

[RNS] Russell Moore: Are Christian hymns too warlike?

Brian McLaren, the liberal “emergent” evangelical activist, re-emerged last week to announce that he is rewriting the hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” The hymn is too warlike, he writes, as is much of evangelical hymnody, in his view. Our hymnody should be, he writes, “refocusing on the teaching of Jesus about peacemaking,” steering clear of warlike imagery. He’s wrong.
I realize that some from McLaren’s theological tribe cast doubt on the authority of the Old Testament narrative, but if one starts cutting away the warfare imagery from the Bible one will end up with a tiny set of scraps. The Apostle Paul writes to the churches that the Christian life is one of spiritual warfare, requiring spiritual armor (the clear inspiration for “Onward, Christian Soldiers”).

Jesus himself speaks in war language, telling us that he is binding the strong man in order to plunder his house. When Jesus reveals to John the whole sweep of cosmic history, he does so with the imagery of a dragon at war with a woman and her child (Revelation 12). To do away with spiritual warfare imagery is to do away with the Bible, with Jesus, with the gospel.

Moreover, an emphasis on spiritual warfare ”” whether in our preaching or in our singing or in our praying ”” does not make us more violent but rather makes us less violent. When we know that we are wrestling against “principalities and powers in the heavenly places,” we are able to understand that we are not therefore wrestling “against flesh and blood” (Ephesians. 6:12). When we know that those who oppose us are, as we were, “captive to the devil,” we are able to treat them with kindness and gentleness (2 Timothy 2:25-26).

Read it all

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture