You may have missed the news. Just this last month the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada announced the greatest hymn of all time. Yes, I clicked on the bait.
It turns out that the hymn society has an annual conference, and no one outside of the small group of people who attend hymn conferences much care about it, or about the Hymn Society, for that matter. They decided they’d try for a little free P.R., and someone came up with a March Madness-like bracketed tournament to decide the greatest hymn of all time.
They started with four divisions, each with eight seeded hymns. Hymns were picked and seeded based on hymnal references, online hits and other criteria. They included data from sites that track both contemporary and traditional hymns and praise songs, so there was at least some attempt to go beyond the songs with which one might imagine those who attend hymn society conferences are most familiar. Continue reading
The ordinary worship of God includes: the reverent and attentive reading of the Scriptures,17 the sound preaching18 and conscientious hearing of the word in obedience to God with understanding and faith;19 singing of psalms with grace in the heart;20 and the proper administration and right receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ.21
Westminster Confession of Faith
You can’t miss them. We’ve posted signs all over of the church building reminding us of a change in our Sunday worship schedule this coming fall, September 8, to be exact. Each Sunday we will offer two wonderful opportunities for God’s people to worship together – at our 8:30 Chapel service, and then at a 10:00 a.m. Sanctuary service. So, what’s the change and why the change?
Don’t look for a lot of change in Chapel worship. Oh, we hope to see a new banner in corner pretty soon, but otherwise, the Chapel and its windows will still be beautiful, and our worship will center on the Word read and preached and the singing of some of the great hymns of the church. Continue reading
Becky and I returned home just this morning on the red eye from Seattle after two wonderful weeks in central Washington with our son and his growing family. Yes, the highlights were the glorious times with the grandkids, but we also snatched a few fleeting moments of adult conversation with Christopher and Katie, as well.
Six of our days away were spent at Lake Chelan, about sixty miles north of Ephrata where Christopher and Katie and the kids live. Our two oldest grandchildren, nine and six years old, each spent their own three days with us at a condominium overlooking the lake. Long story short, we gave the kids an overlap night, and I did the ferrying back and forth, so two additional roundtrips Chelan to Ephrata and Ephrata to Chelan, and an empty car on a couple of legs. I loved the drive. Continue reading
The Washington Cascades not too far from where our son (who shot the photo earlier this week) lives.
The dictionary defines a vacation as “a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation.” Vacation so used is an American word first put to use in the late Nineteenth Century as we were trying to figure out how to live as an urban and industrialized or professionalized people. It was a progressive idea. Paid vacations became an issue in the early days of unions and labor contracts. The idea was to vacate, get out of, the dirty air of the city, the oppressive working conditions and the deadly dreariness of the assembly line, the crowded life of the tenement or the row house. The sea shore, the lake, and the mountains; lodges, cabins, campgrounds, and hotels were favorite destinations.
A farmer on the land or a baker in a village would never have thought of a vacation. But vacations won. Together we spend over $100 billion per year on our vacations and an average family of four will spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on this year’s vacation. Three quarters of us will go into debt for our vacations. Continue reading
Facebook and its family of social media services, Instagram and WhatsApp, were a mess on Wednesday. It turns out that you couldn’t post your pictures for nine hours. Twitter lit up. People were angry and some were seriously anxious. Nine hours with no new selfie?
I think this is what you call a first world problem.
For nine long hours on Wednesday I could upload may latest favorite picture of me, but the photo would not display on my feed. Rather, Mark Zuckerberg’s robots scanned the photos and posted the verbal description of the photo that is used in a computer-generated voice description for the visually impaired. Apparently, this is what the robots do with every photo we upload, it’s just that we usually see the photo and not the written description of it. No word as to whether this was some sort of work slowdown on the part of the robots or if any of them will be disciplined for their slack work on Wednesday. Continue reading