MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, November 12, 2017, Saturday Morning Prayers

MONDAY SCHOOL – thoughts from the message this past Sunday:

RESOURCES

The “Salt & Light” image is from ChurchArt.com, a subscription service.
The photo “Chess” is by Mamooli and is from  https://www.flickr.com/photos/babairan/7104487239/
courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.

This post is based on the sermon “Stepping Into The Triangles” from the sermon series “Out of the Chair, Into The Triangles”
Pentecost, November 12, 2017, at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, November 12, 2017, Friday Morning Prayers

MONDAY SCHOOL – thoughts from the message this past Sunday:

RESOURCES

The images are from ChurchArt.com, a subscription service. The photo of a church sign is by David Kueker.
This post is based on the sermon “Stepping Into The Triangles” from the sermon series “Out of the Chair, Into The Triangles”
Pentecost, November 12, 2017, at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, November 12, 2017, Thursday Morning Prayers

MONDAY SCHOOL – thoughts from the message this past Sunday:

RESOURCES

The images are from ChurchArt.com, a subscription service.
The photo is by David Kueker.
The photo “Moth” is by Beppie and is from  https://www.flickr.com/photos/bepster/135824507/
courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.

This post is based on the sermon “Stepping Into The Triangles” from the sermon series “Out of the Chair, Into The Triangles”
Pentecost, November 12, 2017, at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, November 12, 2017, Wednesday Morning Prayers

MONDAY SCHOOL – thoughts from the message this past Sunday:

Why does salt make food taste better? If I understand the science properly, it’s not so much that salt has a taste: instead salt doesn’t change the food itself but changes our perspective on what we are tasting.

Quote: Perhaps you’ve heard the old saw about salt bringing out the flavor of a dish. Well, the scientists at the Monell Center say it’s absolutely true. The reason: Some flavor compounds are too subtle to detect, but when you add even just a teeny amount of salt, neurological magic happens: Suddenly, our taste receptors can detect flavors they weren’t able to sense before. So, when you add salt to roasted squash, the squash doesn’t merely become salty; rather, the myriad complex flavors of the vegetable come to the fore. Add a bit of salt to bread dough, and likewise, the bread doesn’t necessarily taste salty; it just tastes the way bread should. [1]

In addition to being a general flavor amplifier, salt has a special ability to enhance sweetness in foods. Taste two chocolate puddings that are the same in every way except that one contains a bit of salt and the other none: The one with salt will taste sweeter. That’s because sodium ions zero in on bitter flavor compounds and suppress them, making the sweet flavors seem stronger. For the same reason, salt makes bitter foods more palatable. [2]

… if taste had a volume knob, salt would turn it up. [3]

Jesus said in Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. 

What does this mean? Perhaps there is something about us which enhances the flavor of life for others. Something that decreases another person’s perception of bitterness and enhances their perception of sweetness in this life. And it’s something we can lose … we can lose what makes us “salty” and be “no longer good for anything.”

One theory is that this verse is part of the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount, which is the instructions of Jesus for a holy life pleasing to God. Some argue that the sermon on the Mount is the Torah from the point of Jesus – how he updates the Jewish law for his followers. Certainly, the Sermon on the Mount is filled with wisdom that, if obeyed, can decrease our experience of bitterness and increase our experience of sweetness.

Schweizer notes that a common Jewish expression at the time was to call the Laws the “salt and the light” of the world, which may mean this section is an introduction to the discussion of Mosaic law that will soon commence. In the Rabbinic literature of the period salt was a metaphor for wisdom. [4]

Wisdom certainly does change our perspective on reality, on how life “tastes” – like salt. But what does this idea say about a person losing their saltiness?

The literal translation of the Greek: μωρανθῇ, mōranthē, “loses its savor”, is “becomes foolish”.[25] In Aramaic, the same term is used for losing savor and becoming foolish. Some have speculated that “became foolish” is thus a mistranslation by someone who did not realize the dual meaning of the Aramaic. Gundry feels that the idea of foolish salt is such “utter nonsense” that no translator would ever make such a mistake; he feels it is more likely that the Semitic expression had been assimilated into Greek and that became foolish was an expression for losing savor. English language translators universally accept that the verse is talking about flavor rather than intelligence. Some scholars do feel that this may be wordplay related to the Rabbinic use of salt as a metaphor for intelligence. [5]

I find it unusual that scholars would assume that Jesus would not have made use of a clever play on words like that described. Is Jesus not clever? This makes sense to me.

When we rise up out of our chair and go to and fro in our neighborhoods, we are going to come into contact with people who are experiencing the bitterness of life. But the wisdom of Jesus, transferred from us to our neighbors like the taste of salt, can decrease the bitterness and increase the sweetness for everyone we come in contact with in our neighborhoods. The wisdom of Jesus can genuinely change how we experience our lives.

RESOURCES

[1] “Salt makes everything taste better” by Kimberly Y. Masibay in Fine Cooking Issue 91 at http://www.finecooking.com/article/salt-makes-everything-taste-better.

[2] Ibid.

[3] BeProf_OSX at  https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/2zpz42/eli5_why_does_salt_make_food_taste_better/

[4]  Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew, Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975, quoted in Matthew 5:13; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_5:13.

[5] Matthew 5:13; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_5:13.

The photo is by stevepb and is from Pixabay.

This post is based on the sermon “Stepping Into The Triangles” from the sermon series “Out of the Chair, Into The Triangles”
Pentecost, November 12, 2017, at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, November 12, 2017, Tuesday Morning Prayers

MONDAY SCHOOL – thoughts from the message this past Sunday:

When you come up out of your prayer chair and start traveling through your neighborhood, you’re going to be dealing with real people. Real people live real lives, and real life isn’t always wonderful.

Real people have issues. And when someone comes to the door, you don’t really know how they are feeling. That’s why we’ve been talking in worship about psychological games … it will give you a clue as to what is going on. In the game, “Ain’t It Awful” the game begins when you are invited to be critical of another person. In “Let’s you and him fight” the game begins when you are encouraged to attack someone in order to help or protect your friend. And in the big game, the Karpman Drama Triangle, you are approached by a victim who feels unfairly treated by a persecutor. The victim blames the persecutor (Ain’t It Awful) and asks you to defend them (Let’s You And Him Fight). The victim tries to get you to be upset and angry. And the game just goes around and around the circle.

Here are the three roles, according to Wikipedia.:

  1. The Victim: The Victim’s stance is “Poor me!” The Victim feels victimized, oppressed, helpless, hopeless, powerless, ashamed, and seems unable to make decisions, solve problems, take pleasure in life, or achieve insight. The Victim, if not being persecuted, will seek out a Persecutor and also a Rescuer who will save the day but also perpetuate the Victim’s negative feelings. (The Victim could be a real victim, but more often it’s someone who feels like a victim.)
  2. The Rescuer: The rescuer’s line is “Let me help you.” A classic enabler, the Rescuer feels guilty if he/she doesn’t go to the rescue. Yet his/her rescuing has negative effects: It keeps the Victim dependent and gives the Victim permission to fail. The rewards derived from this rescue role are that the focus is taken off of the rescuer. When he/she focuses their energy on someone else, it enables them to ignore their own anxiety and issues. This rescue role is also very pivotal because their actual primary interest is really an avoidance of their own problems disguised as concern for the victim’s needs. (Often what motivates the Rescuer or the Defender is that they feel superior to the Victim and they feel self-righteous when they attack the persecutor. You feel like Atlas, carrying the world on your shoulder.)
  3. The Persecutor: (a.k.a. Villian) The Persecutor insists, “It’s all your fault.” The Persecutor is controlling, blaming, critical, oppressive, angry, authoritative, rigid, and superior. (Sometimes a Persecutor is right – a truth teller in their criticism – but the emotional content of their truth-telling is hurtful.) [1]

When you meet someone out in the neighborhood, you might find them playing one of these roles. You might get sucked into playing one of the roles yourself. Be careful by being full of care.

Last Saturday I was upset with myself, and I found myself playing all three roles. I had made a mistake and was reminded of it. I felt extremely angry, and decided to figure it out with a tool called “The Five Whys:” 5 Whys is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.[1] The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?” Each answer forms the basis of the next question. The “5” in the name derives from an anecdotal observation on the number of iterations needed to resolve the problem. The technique was formally developed by Taiichi Ohno and was used within the Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of its manufacturing methodologies.  [2]  You ask “Why?” five times or more, until you completely understand.

Here’s how it worked.

I’m angry (feeling). Why are you so angry?

I’m hurt and angry. Why are you so hurt and angry?

Because I made a mistake. I forgot to bring something for this meeting. Why did you forget?

Because I’m stupid. I put it by the door and then just walked past it. Distracted. Why do you feel stupid?

I don’t like making mistakes. (At this time I realized that I was my own Persecutor – telling the truth, but in a way that hurt rather than helped me.) And now I have to go home and get it; this will make me late. Why do you have to go home and get it?

Because I caused this problem and I have to fix it. I did wrong, and I’m the one who has to make it right. (Now I’m the one who has to rescue myself). Why are you the one who has to get this? 

Because I caused the problem; only I can fix it. This wasn’t true. But by the time I realized that someone else could have brought what I had forgotten, it was too late to turn back and go on. I had let me feeling of being responsible for the problem create a situation where I felt that only I could make it right. Not only that, but because I felt responsible, I didn’t want to ask someone for help; I would feel embarrassed. Or ashamed.

The key value, however, is to ask “why?” and listen. And repeat until the person has said all that they want to say. It doesn’t happen very often that someone listens to you until you’ve said everything you want to say … listening is a powerful way to be care filled toward someone.

So – if you are upset, ask yourself if you are playing a game. Then ask why until you understand what you are doing. Or better yet … go ask someone to listen to you. Like your pastor, perhaps. We don’t need to have all the answers – if we can be patient and learn to listen, the person will provide their own answers.

RESOURCES

[1] Karpman drama triangle; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle

[2] 5 Whys; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_Whys

The images are from ChurchArt.com, a subscription service.

This post is based on the sermon “Stepping Into The Triangles” from the sermon series “Out of the Chair, Into The Triangles”
Pentecost, November 12, 2017, at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, November 12, 2017, Monday Morning Prayers

MONDAY SCHOOL – thoughts from the message this past Sunday:

This coming Saturday, our Bishop has issued a call for us to go “prayer walking.” People will gather at 9:30 Saturday morning in ten locations in each district, ten churches, and go walking through the neighborhoods, praying for the community. After praying, they will return to the church to discuss the experience and what they heard from God as they were praying. Kinmundy United Methodist Church is one of those locations for this first experience of monthly prayer walking.

In worship this morning we viewed the Bishop’s Call to Prayer in the video available at this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK8Izee-60w&feature=youtu.be

In an article by Bishop Frank J. Beard in the October 2017 issue of The Current, Bishop Beard spoke of what is involved in organizing a Prayer Walk:

The role of the Church of Jesus Christ is to be salt and light within our community. I believe it is time to shine the light and spread the salt where it can be most effective. I am inviting and encouraging each church in the IGRC to participate in a day of prayer walking.
Prayer walking is exactly what it sounds like. It is “praying” as you “walk” around your ministry setting or a pre-designated location. It is prayer that is conducted by individuals and groups on behalf of their neighbors and communities. Some say it is, “praying onsite with insight.”
Prayer walking can be done by individuals, groups, and even whole churches. These walks can be as short or as long as desired. If a person can’t walk it physically they can “walk it in their mind,” as they drive the designated location.
The key to prayer walking is to be on the scene without making one. The goal is to walk, as much as possible, unnoticed, as you offer intercessory prayer on behalf of others. There may be times when prayer walks are conducted to call specific attention to a problem or situation affecting the entire community. Each church can choose to set the agenda for their prayer walk.
I am requesting that the IGRC family designate November 18th as PRAYER WALK DAY. Churches and ministries are free to participate in ways that will be beneficial to their setting. Some churches with multiple sites will want to join in solidarity. Some communities with more than one UM church will want to work together as a united witness to our connection.
Before you go out to pray, spend a moment in preparation by taking time to review your plan and by having a brief time for praying and worshipping. I suggest that you begin and end the prayer walk by sharing in The Lord’s Prayer.
Each church is free to organize on their own. I am, however, providing some helpful guidelines for those seeking more direction and clarity.

Suggested Guidelines
1. Choose someone to spearhead and organize this event.
2. Decide the type and length of prayer walk that you will conduct.
– What prayer-walking routes will be covered?
– Will your prayer-walking time be focused around a special event?
– Will you be walking in pairs or in small groups?
– Do you want everyone to use a predetermined scripture for the prayer-walking time?
– Will there be designated strategic stops or spots for focused prayer? If so, who will lead?

During the Prayer Walk:
1. Pay Attention: Walk and pray with your eyes open.
2. Keep on Task: Try not to get distracted in your own chatter.
3. Blessing the Area: As you walk pray God’s blessing over the community.
4. REMEMBER Every Footstep represents a prayer and a door of opportunity for ministry.
5. Be open and ask God to give you Christ’s heart and compassion for the area.

After the Walk:
6. Debrief and talk about what God has shown you during your prayer-walk.
– Did God impress you with certain needs or lead you to any specific person or place?
– Were there any specific “God moments” experienced?
7. Establish plans for further prayer walks.
Prayer is one of the most effective tools that we have been given to promote change. Let’s unite in a Conference -Wide effort to do something positive together. [1]

———————————————

In the message this morning, I encouraged everyone to remember that God not only has a plan for the lives of people we encounter in our neighborhood, it is a plan like that of a grand chess master who thinks many moves in advance and is aware of all of the various possibilities. God knows our community and God knows your neighbors. Intimately.

Consequently, we might be surprised by what we experience when we surrender to go walking and praying for our neighbors … but God is not. Nothing that happens is random or accidental or without God’s preparation or concern. And we are a part of God’s grand master plan, each one of us a piece that is moved in order to fulfill God’s beautiful strategy of loving our neighbors through God’s people praying for them. Everything we experience, every person we encounter, has a purpose in the heart and mind of God. We truly can “go with God” and go with the flow of the Holy Spirit as we surrender ourselves to God’s will working through us as we go to pray.

 

RESOURCES

[1] The article by Bishop Frank J. Beard regarding a conference-wide Prayer Walk on Nov. 18, 2017, from the October 2017 issue of The Current, is available from http://www.igrc.org/forms?topic=Prayer%20Walk%20Resources

The Prayer Walking image is from ChurchArt.com, a subscription service.
The photo “Chess” is by Mamooli and is from  https://www.flickr.com/photos/babairan/7104487239/
courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.

This post is based on the sermon “Stepping Into The Triangles” from the sermon series “Out of the Chair, Into The Triangles”
Pentecost, November 12, 2017, at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Saturday Morning Prayers

6 Saturday.JPGMONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, October 1, 2017, Saturday Morning Prayers – thoughts from the sermon The King of Bread (Not).

QUESTIONS

NOTE

SOURCES

The photo is by David Kueker. In fuel gauge inset is by Brett_Hondow and is from Pixabay. (The typo – a reversed ‘Q” – in the sign is known but left in place to indicate that we are still learning.)

This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church. Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Posted in MONDAY SCHOOL | Leave a comment