Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Same Race

While watching a Star Trek episode, we explained to Jordan that that show featured the first interracial kiss on TV, between Kirk and Uhura. His response?

But they're the same race!!

I'm glad he sees it that way. Maybe we've made some progress since that kiss caused controversy back in the '60s.

You know, in some sense, "diversity" and "purity" can be considered opposites. There is a place for each of them. 

When it comes to race, I am firmly in the diversity camp. Groups which seek "racial purity" are rightly seen as a menace. Neighborhoods that are racially, ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse are rich places. Where we can cooperate, we can mine those riches -- learning and growing together.  As we mix and marry, work and live in such places, we come closer to understanding that we are all of the same race. Also we need a diversity of ages, genders and skills in order to function in healthy fashion. 

The Body of Christ also benefits from these types of diversity. 1 Corinthians 12 tells about the different gifts God has given. Also, Galatians 3:27&28 tells us.  "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

So celebrate te diversity God has given. Sometime soon, more on purity.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It doesn't take eight hours to charge a cell phone.

I just mention this because many people plug their phones in every night, while they sleep.

Nothing wrong with that I suppose. It is certainly a convenient way to do it and ensures that you always have a charged phone, but....

if you want to save money and reduce your carbon footprint, you could just charge your phone when it needs it and unplug it when the charging is complete. The same goes for cordless landlines, laptop computers, Ipods, etc.

Another quick way to save money and energy is to turn off GFI plugs when they are not in use.

Any other ideas?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Adoniram Judson's Prayer for More Missionaries

Just a prayer. It resonates today, though the world is now on our doorstep as much as it is overseas  (and the word "heathen" isn't exactly pc)...
O God, have mercy on the churches in the United States…
continue and perpetuate the heavenly revivals of religion
which they have begun to enjoy;
and may the time soon come when no church shall dare
to sit under Sabbath and sanctuary privileges
without having one of their number to represent them on heathen ground.
Have mercy on the theological seminaries,
and hasten the time when one half of all who yearly enter the ministry
shall be taken by thine Holy Spirit,
and driven into the wilderness,
feeling a sweet necessity laid on them,
and the precious love of Christ and of souls constraining them.
Hear, O Lord, all the prayers
which are this day presented in all the monthly concerts
throughout the habitable globe,
and hasten the millennial glory,
for which we are all longing, and praying, and laboring…
Come, O our Bridegroom; come, Lord Jesus!

~Adoniram Judson

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Two Hundred Years Ago Today

Adoniram and Ann Hasseltine Judson, along with Samuel and Harriet Atwood Newell, sailed on the Caravan for  Calcutta, leaving from Salem, MA. Newly married, newly commissioned and ranging in age from 19 to 24, they were true pioneers.

And so we remember them.

Harriet --still only 19-- became the first US missionary martyr when she died from complications of childbirth and a tropical fever just a few months later.

Samuel carried on, working in Madras, but I know little of his story.

Ann and Adoniram becamc Baptists and ended up working in Burma. Their main work was Bible translation. This was accomplished mostly by Adoniram, but Ann translated the book of Jonah and some other portions into Burmese. She also learned Siamese (Thai) and translated the first portion of Scripure -the Book of Matthew -- into that language. She was also instrumental in preserving the manuscript when Adoniram went to prison in 1824. They labored six long years before they had a single convert to Christianity. They are amzong examples of faith, courage and perserverance.

And so we celebrate them, with worship services here and in Burma (Myanmar), giving thanks to God for their life and work.

It was noted that it would have benn middle aged white men who initially voted the missionary organization that sent the Judsons into being.  But yesterday at worship, the congregation had no majority in terms of age gender or ethnicity. The largest group present were Burmese refugees.

Ann and Adoniram knew that God was for everyone. That's why they went to India and eventually to Burma. Let us remember their thinking and introduce God to everyone and everyone to God.

Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Judsons waiting.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

After Judson's commissioning, Ann and Adoniram entered into a time of waiting. They had to wait until clear weather allowed the Caravan to sail.  It wouldn't be until February 17 that they would board the ship and it was February 19 when they embarked.

We know little of what they did in that time. As newlyweds, I am sure they were learning to know each other. Probably, they spent time with the family and friends they were leaving behind forever. Certainly, they would have been praying. They may have been tempted toward anxiety because of all the unknowns facing them. They moved forward however, relying on God

We all have times of waiting and uncertainty. Here is a prayer for them, written by Thomas Merton:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does, in fact, please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

May all your times of waiting be well repaid.

Have a blessed day! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Judson's Commissioning -- 200 years ago today!

I appear to have forgotten about my blog for a bit. Time to pick it back up again:

Two hundred years ago today, Adoniram Judson, Samuel Newell, Luther Rice, Samuel Nott and Gordon Hall were commissioned as the first U.S. missionaries to foreign soil. 

It must have been quite the couple of days for Adoniram and his new bride, Ann. Married on Wednesday, commissioned on Thursday, preparing for life overeseas, they must have felt they were in a whirlwind.

The commissioning service itself was a momentous occasion. The people involved understood its historical import. Several luminous clergymen conducted the service, following the order for ordination because there was as yet no liturgy for missionary commissioning.

The wives, Ann Hasseltine Judson and  Harriet Newell sat in the pews while the men took their places on the bench. Women were not ordained or commissioned in that day and time.

The service was long, with so many preachers. The climax of the service was the traditional “laying on of hands.”  A preacher stood in front of the young men and placed his hands on their head and a prayer was offered. Deeply meaningful and highly symbolic – the sharing of God’s power and anointing.

My favorite part of the story, though, happened in the aisle. Ann Hasseltine Judson slipped from her pew and knelt near the bench on which the men sat. Perhaps she understood that she, too, had an important role to play in the new ministry and should be there in the front. Or maybe she felt overwhelmed by what she had taken on and wished to receive a measure of God’s grace for the journey. We’ll never know. But we do know that she knelt there near her husband, sharing in his commissioning.

Time would prove that both Ann and Adoniram were faithful to God and their calling. They sacrificed much and accomplished much and no doubt in the end heard “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Have a blessed day!